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Fancy it drest, and with saltpetre rouged.
Give thy fancy scope,
The last charge-He lives
And there! that breeze
AN UNPAID PUFF FOR THE LAWYERS.
Authors have long got the credit of being the most accomplished persons going. Now, I have long been of opinion that lawyers are infinitely their superiors. The author chooses his characters as you
dish or your wine at dinnerhe takes what suits, and leaves what is not available to his purpose. Now, the lawyer is called on for all the narrative and descriptive powers of his art at a moment's notice,
One day he is to be found creeping, with a tortoise slowness, through all the wearisome intricacy of an equity case—the next he is borne along in a torrent of indignant eloquence, in defence of some Orange processionist, or some Ribbon associate. In one court he attempts to prove that the elderly gentleman whose life was insured for one thousand at the Phoenix, was instrumental to his own decease, for not eating cayenne with his oysters : in another he shows, with palpable clearness, that being stabbed in the body, and having his head fractured, is a venial offence, and merely the result of "political excitement” in a highspirited and warm-hearted people.
Hear him in a lunacy case-listen to the deep subtle distinctions he draws,between the symptoms of mere eccentricity and erring intellectremark how insignificant the physician appears in the case, who has made these things the study of a long life-hear how the barrister confounds him with a hail-storm of technicals. Like a child who thumps the keys of a pianoforte, and imagines himself a Listz or Moschelles, so does your barrister revel amid the phraseology of a difficult science-pelting the witnesses with his insane blunders, and assuring the jury that their astonishment means ignorance. A joke is a universal blessing; the judge, who after all is only “an old lawyer,” loves it from habit; the jury, generally speaking, are seldom in such good company, and they laugh from complaisance ; and the bar joins in the mirth, on that great reciprocity principle which enables them to bear each other's dullness, and dine together afterwards.
What set me first on this train of thought, was a trial I lately heard, where a cross action was sustained for damage at sea—the owners of the brig Durham against the Aurora, a foreign vessel, and vice versâ, for the result of a collision at noon on the 14th of November. It appeared that both vessels had taken shelter in the Humber from stress of weather, nearly at the same time;—that the Durham, which preceded the Prussian vessel, “ clewed up her topsails and dropped her anchor RAȚHER suddenly; and the Aurora being in the rear, the vessels came in collision." The question therefore was, whether the Durham came to anchor too precipitately, and in an unseamanlike manner, or, in other words, whether, when the “ Durham clewed up her topsails and let go her anchor, the Aurora should not have luffed up or got sternway on her,” &c. Nothing could possibly be more instructive, nor anything scarcely more amusing, than the lucid arguments employed by the counsel on both sides. The learned Thebans, that would have been sick in a ferry-boat, spoke as if they had circumnavigated the globe. Stay-sails, braces, top-gallants, clews, and capstans, they hurled at each other like bon-bons at a carnival ; and this naval engagement lasted from daylight to dark, till at last so confused were the witnesses, the plaintiff, defendant, and all, that they half wished they had both gone to the bottom before they thought of settling their differences in the Admiralty Court.
How I trembled for the Aurora, when an elderly gentleman with a wart on his nose assured the court that the Durham had her topsails backed ten minutes before the anchor fell ; and then how I feared again for the Durham, as a thin man in spectacles worked the Prussian about in a double-reefed mainsail, and stood round in stays so beautifully. I thought myself at sea, so graphic was the whole description—the waves
splashed and foamed around the bulwarks, and broke in spray upon the deck—the wind rattled amid the rigging—the bulk-head creaked, and the good ship heaved heavily in the trough of the sea, like a mighty monster in his agony. But my heart quailed not~I knew that Dr. Lushington was at the helm, and Dr. Haggard at the look-out-a-head. I felt that Dr. Robinson stood by the lee-braces, and Dr. Addison waited, hatchet in hand, to cut away the main-mast. These were comforting reflections, till I was once more enabled to believe myself in Her Majesty's High Court of Admiralty.
FLIGHT OF O'l
NNER’S CHILD, AND DEATH OF HER
Thus sang my love :-“Oh, come with me!
Our steeds are fasten'd to the tree.
Come with thy belted forestere;
Shall hunt for thee the fallow-deer;
And fast and far, before the star
Of day-spring, rush'd we through the glade,
Of Castle-Connor fade.
Of this unploughed untrodden shore;
For man's neglect we loved it more !
When all was hush'd at even-tide,
I heard the baying of their beagle :
“ 'Tis but the screaming of the eagle.”
Their bloody bands had track'd us out.
And, hark ! again that nearer shout
Another's and another's :
Ah me! it was a brother's !
LEONIDAS' FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE AND FAMILY.
“I SEE, I feel, thy anguish, nor my soul
On my paternal fondness. Has my heart
When thy husband dies
Here paus'd the patriot. With religious awe Grief heard the voice of virtue. No complaint The solemn silence broke. Tears ceas'd to flow : Ceas'd for a moment; soon again to stream. For now in arms before the palace rang'd, His brave companions of the war demand Their leader's presence; then her griefs renew'd, Too great for utt'rance, intercept his sighs, And freeze each accent on her falt'ring tongue. In speechless anguish on the hero's breast She sinks. On ev'ry side his children press, Hang on his knees, and kiss his honour'd hand. His soul no longer struggles to confine Its strong compunction. Down the hero's cheek, Down flows the manly sorrow.
Great in woe, Amid his children, who enclose him round, He stands indulging tenderness and love In graceful tears, when thus, with lifted eyes, Address’d to Heaven: “ Thou ever-living pow'r, Look down propitious, sire of gods and men ! And to this faithful woman, whose desert May claim thy favour, grant the hours of peace. And thou my great forefather, son of Jove, O Hercules, neglect not these thy race! But since that spirit I from thee derive, Now bears me from them to resistless fate, Do thou support their virtue! Be they taught, Like thee, with glorious labour life to grace, And from their father let them learn to die!"