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spection before the trial. It was on this occasion that it transpired that the "will" was engaged to be married to the plaintiff, a fact at which the Court metaphorically opened its eyes. After this the defendants obtained leave to amend their answer to the plaintiff's statement of claim. At first they had only pleaded that the testator had not duly executed the alleged will in accordance with the provisions of 1 Vic., cap. 26, sec. 2, and that he did not know and approve the contents thereof. But now they added a plea to the effect that the said alleged will was obtained by the undue influence of Augusta Smithers, or, as one of the learned counsel for the defendants put it much more clearly at the trial, "that the will had herself procured the will, by an undue projection of her own will upon the unwilling mind of the testator."

And so the time went on. As often as he could, Eustace got away from London, and went down to the little riverside hotel, and was as happy as a man can be who has a tremendous lawsuit hanging over him. The law, no doubt, is an admirable institution, out of which a large number of people make a living, and a proportion of benefit accrues to the community at large. But woe unto those who form the subject-matter of its operations. For instance, the Court of Chancery is an excellent institution in theory, and looks after the affairs of minors upon the purest principles. But how many of its wards after, and as a result of one of its wellintentioned interferences, have to struggle for the rest

of their lives under a load of debt raised to pay the crushing costs! To employ the Court of Chancery to look after wards is something as though one set a tame elephant to pick up pins. No doubt he could pick them up, but it would cost something to feed him. But of course these are revolutionary remarks, which one cannot expect everybody to agree with, least of all the conveyancing counsel of the Court.

However this may be, certainly his impending lawsuit proved a fly in Eustace's honey. Never a day passed but some fresh worry arose. James and John, the legal twins, fought like heroes, and held their own although their experience was so small-as men of talent almost invariably do when they are put to it. But it was difficult for Eustace to keep them supplied even with sufficient money for out-of-pocket expenses; and, of course, as was natural in a case where such enormous sums were at stake, and in which the defendants were already men of vast wealth, they found the flower of the entire talent and weight of the Bar arrayed against them. Naturally Eustace felt, and so did Mr. James Short-who, notwithstanding his pomposity and the technicality of his talk, was both a clever and a sensible man-that more counsel, men of weight and experience, ought to be briefed; but there were absolutely no funds for this purpose, nor was anybody likely to advance any upon the security of a will tattooed upon a young lady. This was awkward, because success in law proceedings so very often leans towards

the weightiest purse, and Judges, however impartial, being but men after all, are more apt to listen to an argument which is urged upon their attention by an Attorney-General than on one advanced by an unknown junior.

However, there the fact was, and they had to make the best of it; and a point in their favour was that the case, although of a most remarkable nature, was comparatively simple, and did not involve any great mass of documentary evidence.



THE most wearisome times go by at last, if only one lives to see the end of them; and so it came to pass that at length on one fine morning about a quarter to ten of the Law Courts' clock, that projects its ghastly hideousness upon unoffending Fleet Street, Augusta, accompanied by Eustace, Lady Holmhurst, and Mrs. Thomas, the wife of Captain Thomas, who had come up from visiting her relatives in the eastern counties in order to give evidence, found herself standing in the big entrance to the new Law Courts, feeling as though she would give five years of her life to be anywhere else.

"This way, my dear," said Eustace; "Mr. John

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Short said that he would meet us by the statue in the hall." Accordingly they passed into the archway by the oak stand where the cause-lists are displayed. Augusta glanced at them as she went, and the first thing that her eyes fell on was "Probate and Divorce Division, Court I., at 10.30, Meeson v. Addison and Another," and the sight made her feel ill. In another moment they had passed a policeman of gigantic size, "monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens," who watches and wards the folding-doors through which so much human learning, wretchedness, and worry pass day by day, and were standing in the long, but narrow and illproportioned hall which appears to have been the best thing that the architectural talent of the nineteenth century was capable of producing.

To the right of the door on entering, is a statue of the architect of a pile of which England has certainly no cause to feel proud, and here, a black bag full of papers in his hand, stood Mr. John Short, wearing that air of excitement upon his countenance which is so commonly to be seen in the law courts.

"Here you are," he said, "I was beginning to be afraid that you would be late. We are first on the list, you see; the Judge fixed it specially to suit the convenience of the Attorney-General. He's on the other side, you know," he added, with a sigh. "I'm sure I don't know how poor James will get on.

There are

for all the

more than twenty counsel against him, legatees under the former will are represented. At any

rate, he is well up in his facts, and there does not seem to me to be very much law in the case."

Meanwhile, they had been walking up the long hall till they came to a poky little staircase which had just been dug out in the wall, the necessity for a staircase at that end of the hall, whereby the court floor could be reached, having to all appearance originally escaped the attention of the architect. On getting to the top of the staircase they turned to the left and then to the left again. If they had been doubtful as to which road they should take it would have been speedily decided by the long string of wigs which was streaming away in the direction of Divorce Court No. I. Thicker and thicker grew the wigs; it was obvious that the cause célèbre of Meeson v. Addison and Another would not want for hearers. Indeed, Augusta and her friends. soon realised the intensity of the public interest in a way that was as impressive as it was disagreeable, for, just past the Admiralty Court the passage was entirely blocked by an enormous mass of barristers; there might have been five hundred or more of them. There they were, choked up together in their white-wigged ranks, waiting for the door of the court to be opened. At present it was guarded by six or eight attendants, who, with the help of a wooden barrier, attempted to keep the surging multitude at bay-while those behind cried, "Forward!" and those in front cried "Back!"

"How on earth are we going to get through?" asked Augusta, and at that moment Mr. John Short

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