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searching and learned definition of constructive contempt that has yet been formulated; but for the text of this I must refer the student to the law reports, because, as it took two hours to deliver, I fear that it would, notwithstanding its many beauties, be thought too long for the purpose of this history. Unfortunately, however, it did not greatly benefit Augusta, the victim of the unlawful dissemination of photographs, inasmuch as the judgment was not delivered till a week after the great case of Meeson v. Addison and Another had been settled.

About eight days after Augusta's adventure in Regent Street, a motion was made in the Court of Probate on behalf of the defendants, Messrs. Addison and Roscoe, who were the executors and principal beneficiaries under the former will of November 1885, demanding that the Court should order the plaintiff to file a further and better affidavit of scripts, with the original will set up by him attached, the object, of course, being to compel an inspection of the document. This motion, which first brought the whole case under the notice of the public, was strenuously resisted by Mr. James Short, and resulted in the matter being referred to the learned Registrar for his report. On the next motion day this report was presented, and, on its appearing from it that the photography had taken place in his presence, and accurately represented the tattoo marks on the lady, the Court declined to harass the "will" by ordering her to submit to any further in


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

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