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But should some generous youth appear,
Though in this wilderness below
IPit at a pinch. A gentleman who left his snuffbox at a friend's on St. Valentine's Eve, 1825, received it soon after his return home in an envelope, sealed, and superscribed— To J– E—, Esq. Dear Sir, I've just found proof enough, You are not worth a pinch of snuff; Receive the proof, seal’d up with care, And eartract from it, that you are. Valentine, 1825
SIR WILLIAM BLAckston E died on the 14th of February, 1780. He was born at the house of his father, a silkman, in Cheapside, London, on the 10th of July, 1723; sent to the Charter-house in 1730; entered Pembroke-college, Cambridge, in 1738; of the Middle Temple, 1741; called to the bar in 1746; elected recorder of Wallingford in 1749; made doctor of civil law in 1750; elected Vinerian professor of common law in 1758; returned a representative to Parliament in 1761; married in 1761; became a justice of the court of Common Pleas in 1770. In the course of his life he filled other offices. He was just and benevolent in all his relations, and, on the judicial seat, able and impartial. In English literature and jurisprudence he holds a distinguished rank for his “Commentaries on the Laws of England.” This work originated in the legal lectures he commenced in 1753: the first volume was published in 1759, and the remaining three in the four succeeding years. Through these his name is popular, and so will remain while law exists. The work is not for the lawyer alone, it is for every body. It is not so praiseworthy to be learned, as it is disgraceful to be igno.
rant of the laws which regulate liberty and property. The absence of all information in some men when serving upon juries and coroners' inquests, or as constables, and in parochial offices, is scandalous to themselves and injurious to their fellow men. The “Commentaries” of Blackstone require only common capacity to understand. Wvnne’s “ Eunomus.” is an excellent into to Blackstone, if any be wanting. With these two works no man can be ignorant of his rights or obligations; and, indeed, the “Commentaries” are so essential, that he who has not read them has no claim to be considered qualified for the exercise
of his public duties as an Englishman. He is at liberty, it is true, for the law leaves him at liberty, to assume the character he may be called on to bear in common with his fellow-citizens; but, with this liberty, he is only more or less than a savage, as he is more than a savage by his birth in a civilized country, and less than a savage in the animal instinct, which teaches that self-preservation is the first law of nature; and still further is he less, because, beside the safety of others, it may fall to him, in this state of igno rance, to watch and ward the safety of the commonwealth itself. Blackstone, on making choice of his profession, wrote an elegant little poem, entitled “ The Lawyer's Farewell to his Nurse.” It is not more to be admired for ease and grace, than for the strong feeling it evinces in relinquishing the pleasures of poesy and art, and parting for ever from scenes wherein he had happily spent his youthful days. Its conclusion describes his anticipations—
Lost to the field and torn from you—
A SUIT AT LAW.
. Its origin and progress may be traced in the Tree engraved on the opposite page.
1. The root of the engraved Tree exhibits a diversity of suits and actions for the remedy of different wrongs.
2. The trunk shows the growth of a suit, stage by stage, until its conclusion.
3. The branches from each stage show the proceedings of the plaintiff on one side, and the proceedings of the defendant on the other.
4. The leaves of each branch show certain collateral proceedings whereby the suit is either advanced or suspended.
5. Supposing the form of action suitable to the case, and no stay of proceedings, the suit grows, on the “sure and firm set earth” of the law, into a “goodly tree,” and, attaining to execution against either the plaintiff or the defendant, terminates in consuming fire.
A few whimsical miscellanies are subloined, not derogatory from the importance or necessity of legislation, but amusingly illustrative of legal practice in the sinuosities it has acquired during successive stages of desuetude and change. Those only who know the law are acquainted with the modes by which numerous deformities in its o have originated, or the means by which they may be remedied ; while all who experience that application are astonished at its expensiveness, and complain of it with reason.
A legal practitioner is said to have delivered a bill containing several charges of unmerciful appearance, to a client, who was a tailor; and the tailor, who had made a suit of clothes for his professional adviser, is said to have sent #. the following bill by way of set-off.
GEoroe GRIP, Esq.
£. a. d. Attending you, in conference, concerning your proposed Suit, conferring thereon when you could not finally determine.......... 0 6 8 Attending you again thereon, when found you prepared, and taking measures accordiugly.......... 0 6 8 Entering...................... 0 3 4 Instructions and warrant to woollendraper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 5 0
Carried forward.....fl. 1 8
£. s. d. Brought forward.... l l 8 Copy thereof to keep............ 0 2 0 Instructions to foreman........ ... 0 6 8 Difficulty arising as to proceedings, attending him in consultation ... 0 6 8 Paid fees to woollen-draper ...... 4 18 6 Attending him thereon .......... 0 6 8 Perusing his receipt ............ 0 3 4 Attending to file same . . . . . . . . . ... O 3 4 Filing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 1 0 Attending button-maker, instructing im. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 6 8 Paid his charges........ - - - - - - - - 2 19 0 Having received summons to proceed, perusing and considering Same . . . . . . . . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0 0 8 Drawing consent, and copy to keep 0 4 4 Postage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 1 6 Copy order thereon and entering ... 0 3 0 Appointing consultation as to further proceedings, and attending same 0 13 4 Foreman having filed a demurrer, preparing argument against same 0 6 8 Attending long argument on demurrer, when same overruled ...... 0 10 0 Perusing foreman's plea ........ 0 6 8 Excepting to same . . . . . . . . ... ... 0 6 8 Entering exceptions ... . . . . . . . ... 0 3 4 Perusing notice of motion to remove suit, and preparing valid objections to lay before you ........ 0 10 0 Same being overruled, consent thereto, on an undertaking..... ..... 0 6 8 Expenses on removal of suit—paid by you at the time............ 0 0 3 Writing you my extreme dissatisfac. tion on finding the suit removed into the King's Bench, and that I should move the court, when you promised to obtain a Rule as soon as term commenced, and attend me thereon ............ 0 10 C
Conferring with you, in presence of your attendant, at my house, on the first day of term, when you succeeded in satisfying me that ou were a Gent. one, &c, and an onourable man, and expressed great dissatisfaction at the pro ceedings had with the suit while out of my hands; receiving your instructions to demand of your Uncle that same should return to me, on my paying him a lien he claimed thereon, and received from you his debenture for that purpose ............... . . . . . 0 13 4 Perusing same, and attending him in St. George's-fields therewith and thereon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 10 0 Paid him, principal and interest .. 2 10 4
it... &. Brought forward.... 18 18 In consideration of circumstances, uo charge for receiving suit back 0 0 0 Perusieg letter unexpectedly received from you, dated from your | own house, respecting short notice of trial .................... Attending you thereon .......... Attending at Westminster several mornings to try the suit, when at last got same on.............. *id sees...................... Fee to porter ................ - It being determined that the suit should be put into a special case, drawing special instructions to Boxmaker for same .......... Attending him therewith and thereon Paid him his see for special case .. Paid his clerk's fee ............ Considering case, as settled ...... Attending foreman for his consent to same, when he promised to determine shortly ......... ... 0 6 Attending him again thereon to obviate his objections, and obtained his consent with difficulty...... 0 6 Drawing bill of costs............ 0 15 Fair copy for Mr. to peruse and settle .................. 0 Attending him therewith ........ O kee to him settling ............ 0 Attending him for same.......... 0 *rusing and considering same, as *d...................... Attending Mr. again suggesting amendments .......... fee to him on amending ........ 0 Perusing same as amended ...... O Fair Copy, with amendments, to keep 0 *ing...................... O fair copy for service............ 0 Thirty-eight various attendances to | - *We same . . . . . . . . . ......... 6 Service thereof................ 0 Drawing memorandum of service ... 0 Attending to enter same.......... 0 Entering same ................ 0 Attending you concerning same ... 0 Accepted service of order to attend at the theatre, and gave consent. 0 taining fee at box-office ...... 0 Service of order on box-keeper.... 0 Self and wife, with six children, two of her cousins, her brother, and his son, two of my brothers, oy sister-in-law, three nephews, four nieces, each attending for four hours and a half to see the | Road to Ruin, and the Beggars' | 9pera, eighty-five hours and a
Carried forward....4.39 5 10
i i i
4. Brought forward.... 39 5 10 half, at 3s. 4d. per hour—very moderate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 0 Coach hire there and back .....: 0 18 Attending you to acquaint you with particulars in general, and concerning settlement particularly.. Instructions for receipt . . . . . . . . . . Drawing receipt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vacation fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Refreshing fee ....... Perusing receipt, and amending same Fair copy to keep ......... . . . . . Engrossing on stamp . . . . . . . . . . . . Paid duty and paper . . . . . . . . . . . . Fee on ending . . . Letters and messengers. . . . . . . . . .
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Item in a Bill of Costs
Attending A in conference concerning the best mode to indemnify B against co demand for damages, in consequence of his driving D's cart against E's house, and thereby breaking the window of a room occupied by F's family, and cutting the head .#3. one of his children, which H, the surgeon, had pronounced dangerous, and advising on the steps necessary for such, indemnity. , Áttending I accordingly thereon, who said he could do nothing without the concurrence of his brother J, who was on a visit to his friend K, but who afterwards consented thereto, upon having a counter-indemnity from L. Taking instructions for, and writing the letter accordingly, but he refused to accede thereto, in consequence of misconduct in some of the parties towards his distant relation M, because he had arrested N, who being in custody of O, the officer, at P's house, was unable to prevail upon 9 and R to become bail. Attending in consequence upon s, the