« VorigeDoorgaan »
what he detected to be the passing es for him in libel cases brought against mood of each, that they felt as if they the Sunday Flash. Gammon most earwere all the while reasoning with, and Destly expostulated, but Quirk was inbeing convinced by him. His placid, exorable; and himself carried his resmiling, handsome countenance, his tainer to Mr Quicksilver. Gammon, gentlemanly bearing and insinuating however, was somewhat consoled by address, full of good-natured cheerful the reflection, that this wild elephant confidence in his cause, were irresisti- would be, in a manner, held in check ble. He flattered, he soothed, he fas- by Mr Subtle and Mr Lynx, who, he cinated the jury, producing an effect hoped, would prevent any serious misupon their minds which they often chief from happening. Lynx possesfelt indignant at his opponent attempt. sed the qualities which his name would ing to etface. In fact, as a nisi prius suggest to you. I have partly deleader he was unrivalled, as well in scribed bim already. He was a man stating as in arguing a case, as well in of minute accuracy; and “got up" examining as cross-examining a wit. every case in which he was engaged ness. It required no little practical as if his life had depended on the result. skill to form an adequate estimate of Nothing escaped him. He kept his Mr Subtle's skill in the management mind constantly even with the current of a cause ; for he did every thing with of the cause. He was a man to steer such a smiling, careless, unconcerned a leader, if ever that leader should get, air, in the great pinch and strain of a for an instant, on the wrong tack, or case, equally as in the pettiest details, be uncertain as to his course. His that you would be apt to suspect that suggestion and interference_rare, none but the easiest and most straight- indeed, with with such a man as Mr forward cases fell to his lot.
Subtle, incessant with Mr Quicksilver, Titmouse, Titmouse, methinks the -were always worth attending to, and fates favoured you in assigning to you consequently received with deference. Mr Subtle!
For Mr Aubrey also was retained Next came Mr QUICKSILVER, a man a formidable bar. Mr Attorney-Genof great but wild energy, who receiv. eral was man much superior, in ed what may be called a muffling re- point of intellect and legal knowledge, tainer. What a contrast was he to to Mr Subtle. His mind was distinMr Subtle! The first and the last guished by its tranquil power. He thing he thought of in a cause, was- had a rare and invaluable faculty of himself. His delight was to make the arraying before his mind's eye all the jury feel as if a whirlwind was raging facts and bearings of the most intricate about them, and he the spirit who had case, and contemplating them, as it raised it. His object was either to were, not successively, but simultadazzle or terrify them. He wrapped neously. His perception was quick as himself round in the gleaming garment light; and, at thesametime-rare, most of display ; the gaudy patchwork of rare accomplishment!-his judgment multifarious superficial acquirements : sound, his memory signally retentive. this was the strange, noisy object, Inferior, possibly, to Mr Subtle in rafinging about wildly, in all directions, pid and delicate appreciation of mothe firebrands and arrows of sarcasm mentary advantages, he was sagacious and invective, that occupied their eye where Mr Subtle was only ingenious. and ear till he had ceased ; neither he · Mr Attorney. General had as much nor they were thinking all the while weight with the judge as Mr Subtle of his dismayed and injured client, till with the jury. With the former, reminded of him by the adverse charge there was a candour and straightforof the judge, accompanied by a slight wardness -- a dignified simplicity
sneer and shrug of the shoulders which insensibly won the confidence from Mr Subtie. As for law, probably of the judge ; who, on the other there was no man in court, wearing hand, felt himself obliged to be ever wig and gown, who was not his supe- on his guard against the slippery rior, or at least his equal. Why, then, sophistries of Mr Subtle, whom he was such a man retained in the cause ?
regard with constant sus'Twas a fancy of Quirk's, a vast politi. picion. cal admirer of Quicksilver's, who had Mr STERLING, the second counsel made one or two most splendid speech for the defendant, was a king's coun
sel, and a rival of Mr Subtle upon better allude boldly to the conveyance the circuit. He was a man of great executed by Harry Dreddlington, power; and, on important occasions, and which becomes useless as soon as no man at the bar could acquit him- we prove his death in his father's lifeself with more distinction. As a time.” speaker, he was eloquent and impres- " Ah! there's that blessed tombsive, perhaps deficient in vivacity; stone again,” interposed Quicksilver. but he was a man of clear and power- _“Or," resumed Mr Subtle, “conful intellect; prompt in seizing the tent myself with barely making out bearings of a case ; a capital lawyer ; our pedigree, and let it come from the and possessing, even on the most try- other side ?” ing occasions, imperturbable self-pos- “ I think, perhaps, that the latter session.
would be the quieter and safer course," Mr CRYSTAL, with all his faults of seplied Lynx. manner and bearing, was an honour- * By the way, gentlemen," said Mr able high-minded man; clear-sighted Subtle suddenly, addressing Messrs and strong-headed ; an accurate and Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, “how do ready lawyer; vigilant and acute-but we come to know any thing about the of him I have spoken before.
mortgage executed by Harry DredSee, then, the combatants : for Tit. dlington ?” mouse-Mr SUBTLE, Mr QUICKSILVER, “Oh! that you know," replied Mr Lynx; for Mr Aubrey-Mr AT- Quirk quickly, "we first got scent of TORNEY-GENERAL, Mr STERLING, Mr in Mr
Here he paused sudCRYSTAL
denly, and turned quite red. The consultation of each party was “ It was suggested," said Gammon long and anxious.
calmly, “by one of the gentlemen About eight o'clock on the Sunday whose opinions we have taken in the evening, at Mr Subtle's lodgings, case-I forget by whom-that, from Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, some recital, it was probable that accompanied by Mr Mortmain, whom there existed such an instrument; and they had brought down to watch the that put us on making inquiry.” case,
made their appearance shortly Nothing more likely, added after Mr Quicksilver and Mr Lynx. Mortmain, “than that it, or an ab
“ Our case seems complete, now,” stract, or minute of it, should get into said Mr Subtle, casting a penetrating Stephen Dreddlington's hands. and most significant glance at Messrs
Ah! well! well!--I must say Quirk and Gammon, and then at his there's rather an air of mystery about juniors, to whom, before the arrival the case. But-about that tombstone of their clients and Mr Mortmain, he - what sort of witnesses will speak” had been mentioning the essential link 66 Will that evidence be requisite, which, a month before, he had pointed enquired Lynx, “in the plaintiff's out as missing, and the marvellous case ? All we shall have to do, will good-fortune by which they had been be to prove the fact that Harry died able to supply it at the eleventh hour. without issue, of which there's satis
" That tombstone's a godsend, factory evidence; and as to the time Subtle, isn't it?" said Quicksilver, of his death, that will become material with a. grim smile. Lynx neither only if they put in the conveyance of smiled nor spoke. He was a very Harry.” matter-of-fact person.
So as the case “ Truetrue; ah! I'll turn that came out clear and nice in court, he over in my mind. Rely upon it, I'll cared about nothing more. But what give Mr Attorney-General as little to ever might be the insinuation or sus- lay hold of as possible. Thank you, picion implied in the observation of Mr Lynx, for the hint. Now, gentleMr Subtle, the reader must, by this men, one other question, What kind time, be well aware how little it was of looking people are the witnesses warranted by the facts.
who prove the later steps of the pedi“ I shall open it very quietly,” said gree of Mr Titmouse ? Respectable? Mr Subtle, putting into his pocket his Eh?„You know a good deal will penknife, with which he had been depend on the credit they may obtain paring his nails, while Mr Quicksilver with the jury." had been talking very fast.
6 What “They 're very decent creditable perdo you think, Mr Lynx ? Had I sons, you will find, Sir," said Gammon
“ Good, good. Who struck the more than watching briefs. Depend special jury?”
upon it, they would not have carried “ We did, sir.”
on the affair with so high a hand, if « Well, I must say that was a very they had not pretty firm ground under prudent step for you to take ! consi. foot! Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and dering the rank in life and circum- Snap are tolerably well known in stances of the respective parties ! town-not over-scrupulous, eh, Mr However, to be sure, if you didn't, Runnington ?" they would-so-well; good night, • Indeed, Mr Attorney, you are gentlemen, good night.” So the con- right. I don't doubt they are presultation broke up; and Messrs Quirk, pared to go all lengths.” Gammon, and Snap returned home “ Well, we'll sift their evidence to their inn, in a very serious and pretty closely at any rate. So you aurious mood.
really have reason to fear, as you in“ You're a marvellous prudent per- timated when you entered the room, son, Mr Quirk," said Gammon, in a that they have valid evidence of Stesomewhat fierce whisper, as they phen Dreddlington having left issue?" walked along," I suppose you would “ Mr Soap told me,” said Mr Par. have gone on to explain the little kinson, “this morning, that_they matter of Steggars, and so have had would prove issue of Stephen Dred. our briefs thrown at our heads__" dlington, and issue of that issue, as
“ Well, well, that was a slip." clean as a whistle that was bis Here they reached their inn.
Tit- phrase.” mouse was staying there; and in “ We mustn't take all for gospel Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap's that he would say." absence, he had got very drunk, and “ They've got two houses filled was quarrelling under the archway with witnesses, I understand," said with Boots ; so they ordered him to Mr Runnington. bed, they themselves sitting up till a “ Do they seem Yorkshire people, very late hour in the morning. or strangers ?"
The consultation at the Attorney- Why, most of them that I have General's had taken place about three seen,” replied Parkinson,
replied Parkinson, “ seem o'clock in the afternoon, within an strangers. hour after his arrival; and had been " Ah, they will prove,
suppose, attended by Messrs Sterling, Crystal, the later steps of the pedigree, when and Mansfield,-by Mr Runnington, Stephen Dreddlington married at a and Mr Parkinson, and by Mr Aus distance from his native country.” brey, whom the Attorney-General re- They then entered into a very full ceived with the most earnest expres. and minute examination of the case ; sions of sympathy and friendship; after which,— Well,” said the Attorlistening to every question and every ney-General, evidently fatigued with observation of his with the utmost his long journey, and rising from his deference.
chair, we must trust to what will “ It would be both idle and unkind turn up in the chapter of accidents to disguise from you, Aubrey,” said to-morrow. I shall be expected to he, “ th
our position is somewhat dine with the bar to-day," he added, precarious. It depends entirely on .
“ but immediately after dinner-say the chance we may have of breaking at seven o'clock, I shall be here, and down the plaintiff's case ; for we have at your service, if anything should be but a slender case of our own. I required.” Then the consultation suppose they can bring proof of the broke up. Mr Aubrey had, at their death of Harry Dreddlington in his earnest entreaty, brought Mrs Aubrey father's lifetime ?"
and Kate from Yatton, on Saturday ; « Oh yes, sir,” answered Mr Par- for they declared themselves unable kinson, - there is an old tombstone to bear the dreadful suspense in which behind Yatton church which estab. they should be left at Yatton. Yieldlishes that fact beyond all doubt; and ing, therefore, to these their very reasona week or two ago no fewer than five able wishes, he had engaged private or six persons have been carefully in- lodgings at the outskirts of the town. specting it; doubtless they will be On quitting the consultation, which, called as witnesses to-morrow. without at the same time affecting
or I feared as much. Then are ours over-strictness, he had regretted being
fixed for Sunday—but the necessity aud he took it up and hastily examinof the case appeared to warrant it- ed it. he repaired to the magnificent min- We have seen a piece of unexpected ster, where the evening prayers were good fortune on the part of Gammon being read, and where were Mrs Au- and his client; and the reader will not brey and Kate. They were chant- be disappointed at finding something ing the prayers as he entered, and of a similar kind befalling Mr Aubrey, was placed in a stall nearly opposite even at the eleventh hour. Mr Park; to where those whom he loved so inson's journey, which he had exefondly were standing. The psalms
crated a hundred times over as he came allotted for the evening were those in down, produced a discovery which which the royal sufferer, David, was made him tremble all over with agitapouring forth the deepest sorrows of tion and excitement, and begin to look his heart; and their appropriateness upon it as almost owing to an interto his own state of mind, added to the ference of Providence. The deed he effect produced by the melting me- looked at bore an endorsement of the lody in which they were conveyed to name of “ Dreddlington." After a his ears, excited in him, and he per- hasty glance over its contents, he ceived also, in those opposite, the tried to recollect by what accident a deepest emotion. The glorious pile document, belonging to Mr Aubrey, was beginning to grow dusky with the could have found its way into the box stealing shadows of evening; and the containing Lord Yelverton's deeds ; solemn and sublime strains of the or- and it at length occurred to him that, gan, during the playing of the anthem, about a twelvemonth before, Mr Aufilled the minds of all present who had brey had proposed advancing several any pretensions to sensibility, with thousand pounds to Lord Yelverton, mingled feelings of tenderness and on mortgage of a portion of his lord
Those in whom we are so ship's property--but which negotiadeeply interested, felt their minds at tion had afterwards been broken off ; once subdued and elevated ; and as that Mr Aubrey's title-deeds happened they quitted the darkening fabric to be at the same time open and loose through which the pealing tones of in his officemand he recollected having the organ were yet reverberating, considerable trouble in separating the they could not help inquiring, Should respective documents which had got they ever enter it again, and in what mixed together. This one, after all, altered circumstances might it be? had been, by some accident, over
To return, however,--though it is, looked, till it turned up in this most indeed, like descending from the holy timely and extraordinary manner! mountain into the bustle and hubbub Having hastily effected the object which of the city at its foot- Mr Parkinson, had brought him back to Grilston, he being most unexpectedly and unfortu- ordered a post-chaise and four, and nately summoned to Grilston that within a quarter of an hour was afternoon, in order to send up some thundering back, at top speed, on his deeds of one of his distinguished clients way to York, which, the horses reeking to London, for the purpose of imme- and foaming, he reached a little after diately effecting a mortgage, set off in ten o'clock. He jumped out, with the a post-chaise, at top speed, in a very precious deed in his pocket, the instant unenviable frame of mind; and by that his chaise-door was opened, and seven o'clock was seated in his office ran off, without saying more thanat Grilston, busily turning over a “ I'm gone to the Attorney-General's." great number of deeds and
in This was heard by many passers-by à large tin-case, with the words and persons standing round; and it “ Right Honourable the Earl of Yel- spread far and wide that something of verton," painted on the outside. Hav. the utmost importance had transpired, ing turned over almost every thing with reference to the great ejectment inside, and found all that he wanted, cause of Mr Aubrey. Soon afterwards, he was going to toss back again all the messengers and clerks, belonging to deeds which were not requisite for his Mr Runnington and Mr Parkinson, immediate purpose, when he happened were to be seen running to and fro, to see one lying at the very bottom, summoning Mr Sterling, Mr Crystal, which he had not before observed. Mr Mansfield, and also Mr Aubrey, It was not a large, but an old deed to a second consultation at the
Attorney. General's. About eleven expected between the Attorney-Gene-. o'clock they were all assembled. ral and Mr Subtle. The former, as The deed which had occasioned all he entered,-his commanding features his excitement, was one calculated gazed at by many an anxious eye with indeed to produce that effect; and it hope, and a feeling that on his skill filled the minds of all present with and learning depended that day the astonishment and delight. In a word, destination of the Yatton property, it was a deed of contirmation by old bowed to the judge, and then nodded Dreddlington, the father of Harry and shook hands with several of the Dreddlington, of the conveyance by the counsel nearest to bim; then he sat latter to Geoffry Dreddlington, who, down, and opening his bag, took out his in the manner already mentioned to huge brief, and began turning over its the reader, had got an assignment of leaves with a calm and attentive air, that conveyance to himself. After the occasionally turning round and conAttorney-General had satistied him. versing with his juniors. Every one self as to the account to be given of present observed that the defendant's the deed—the custody from whence it counsel and attorneys wore the confi. came, namely, the attorney for the de- dent looks of winning men ; while fendant; Mr Parkinson undertaking, their opponents, quick-sighted enough, to swear, without any hesitation, that also observed the circumstance, and whatever deeds of Mr Aubrey's he looked, on that account alone, a shade possessed, he had taken from the muni- more anxious than when they had en. ment-room at Yatton, the second con- tered the court. Mr Subtle requested sultation broke up. Mr Aubrey, on Gammon, whose ability he had soon hearing the nature and effect of the detected, to sit immediately beneath instrument explained by the Attorney. him ; next to Gammon sat Quirk, then General and Mr Mansfield, and all Snap, and beside him, Mr Titmouse, his counsel, in short, concurring in with a staring sky-blue flowered silk opinion as to the triumphant effect handkerchief round his neck, a gaudy which this instrument would produce waistcoat, a tight surtout, and white on the morrow, may be pardoned for kid gloves. He looked exceedingly regarding it, in the excitement of the pale, and dared hardly interchange moment, as almost a direct interfer- a word with even Snap, who was just ence of Providence.
as irritable and excited as his senior A few minutes before nine o'clock partners. It was quickly known all on the ensuing morning, the occa- over the court who Titmouse was. sional shrill blasts of the trumpets Mr Aubrey scarcely shewed himself announced that the judges were on their in court all day, though he stood at way to the castle, the approaches to the door near the bench, and could which were crowded with carriages hear all that passed ; Lord De la and pedestrians of a highly respectable Zouch and one or two other personal appearance. As the castle clock finish- friends standing with him, engaged, ed striking nine, Lord Widdrington from time to time, in anxious convertook his seat, and the swearing of the sation. The jury having been sworn, special jury commenced. The court Mr Lynx rose, and in a few hurried was crowded almost to suffocation; sentences, intimated the nature of all the chief places being filled with the pleadings in the cause. The persons of distinction in the county. Attorney-General then rose, and The benches on each side of the judge requested that all the witnesses were occupied by ladies, who-espe. might leave the court. As soon as cially the Countess of Oldacre and the little disturbance occasioned by Lady De la Zouch-evinced a painful this move had ceased, Mr Subtle, degree of anxiety and excitement in rose, and in a low but distinct tone, their countenances and demeanour. said, “ May it please your Lordship The bar also mustered in great force ; -Gentlemen of the Jury,- In this the crown court being quite deserted, cause I have the honour to appear although a great_murder case was before you as counsel for the plaintiff ; going on there. The civil court was, and it now becomes my duty to state, on the present occasion, the point of as briefly as I can, the nature of his attraction, not only on account of the case. It is impossible, gentlemen, interesting nature of the case to be not to notice the unusual interest extried, but of the keen contest that was cited by the cause ; and which may be