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MOST EXCELLENT SIR, - I, who erewhile recounted to you, andthrough your favour-to the whole civilized world, divers matters which happened in the course of an adventurous day's trip to Calais, do now sit down, in a humour of the like communicativeness, to tell you, ‘at your special instance and request' as we lawyers have it what chanced to me on a late excursion of a somewhat different description. Since then, and since you and I met in the flesh, I have become the proprietor of a wig and gown, cum pertinentiis: lo, I am even an UTTER BARRISTERT

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&c. &c. &c. &c.,
Barrister at Law:

that is, if you wish my clerk-a stickler for etiquette-to take the letter in, or my sublime self to read and answer it!

Having attained this exalted rank of Counsel Learned in the Law, Heaven save the mark!—and belonging to the Common Law Bar,-which is the Bar Itinerant, going the circuit seemed to follow as a thing of course; and when I came to exercise the difficult choice of a circuit, and found that one of them-the NORTHERN CIRCUIT-Would bring me twice annually three degrees nearer to yourself, dear and venerable sir !-can you wonder that I at once attached myself to it? From the which circumstance having been thus brought to your knowledge, it would seem to follow as a thing of course, that my patent will soon be made out asChristopher's Counsel; or, Standing Counsel to Maga !-But, in sooth, why jest thus at starting? Going a first circuit is not a very trifling af

See No. CCLXV., vol. XLII., p. 621.

fair, but, on the contrary, a matter of some interest and anxiety, as you may see in due time. Permit me, then, to take you along with me-even from my own door-telling you the truth, and nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth: for, first, I shall omit all mention of the wealth and distinction which I earned; secondly, I shall not presume to take in vain the names of the Most Reverend Judges, or describe the characters and doings of my dear brethrenwhatever I may at any time think fit to write on that subject I shall deal with à la Talleyrand-keep it secret till thirty years after my decease! Then be ye on the look out, ghosts of my brethren ! If so what is left me to describe ? Why, to a man with his eyes open, even a common journey to and from, and a few days' sojourn at Liverpool, cannot be destitute of interest! But listen, on this point, to the gay and gifted Sterne ::

"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in every thing; and who, having eyes to see what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him, as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on! I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and cry, 'Tis all barren ;-and so it is-and so is all the world-to him who will not cultivate the fruits it offers." Allons !

Circumstances which it is not necessary to mention prevented me from going the whole circuit; so, by way of making a beginning, I determined to join at Liverpool-the last stage of the circuit-where the commission-day was fixed for the 22d of March. As

†i. e. Pleaders ouster' the Bar, to distinguish them from Benchers, or those who have been Readers, who are sometimes admitted to plead within the Bar, as the Queen's Counsel are.-JACOB.

soon as I had formed this resolution I persuaded a friend, who will flourish under the designation of Q. in this letter, to accompany me, it being also his first circuit. Then came the doubts as to stage-coach, mail or railroad and mail-to Birmingham. After due deliberation, we resolved to go by coach to Birmingham, and thence on to Liverpool by railroad. I sent, therefore, immediately by a trusty friend, and took three outside places-(whether outside or inside had been a matter of dire debate between us)—Q. carrying his servant with him. The coach was the "Estafette," and it started, we were told, at ten o'clock-mind that -on the 20th of March, from the Swan with Two Necks, Lad Lane, Cheapside; by which means, wise men as we were, we purposed reaching Liverpool on the 21st; little dreaming, till a chance encounter with an experienced circuiteer, of the fixed rule of the circuit that no barrister shall make his appearance in an Assize Town before the commissionday; a salutary rule, aimed at the prevention of divers obliquities What was to be done? We had paid our fare; so we resolved to let it stand-start as we had proposed on the Tuesday, and spend the Wednesday at Birmingham, a town I had never seen, save once for a few hours some seventeen years before, when being whirled through it on my way home from school. We obtained a letter of introduction to a banker there, who, it was hoped, would enable us to amuse ourselves during our stay, by seeing what Q. called the smutty Lions of Birmingham. Then I had my portmanteau packed up, containing, in addition to my clothes, some eight or ten practical booksRoscoe's Civil Evidence, Selwyn's Nisi Prius, Burton's Real Property, Harrison's Digest, Byles on Bills of Exchange, and Roscoe's Criminal Evidence-wherewith I might be enabled to despatch the great business which doubtless awaited my coming; while my gown and bands I saw neatly spread along the surface of the ingesta. "Have we forgotten any thing?" said my poor wife, who was plainly not quite calm that morning;

Are you sure that every thing is in?" I was quite certain of it; and in a twinkling the servant had closed and

strapped it up. down to breakfast; my good wife giving me sundry earnest cautions concerning damp beds, unaired linen, and the like, and hinting grievous misgivings about "that odious railway, on which we were always hearing of accidents happening;" moreover, enjoining me to go to church regularly on the Sunday, and extracting many solemn promises from me that I would write to her, at least every other day, a very long letter, whatever my other engagements might be

About nine I sat

and that she should be quite miserable if I did not: adding something indistinctly about the wretchedness of being a barrister's wife—as bad as a soldier's, &c. &c. &c. Breakfast was soon over; and the hackney-coach drew up to the door. The time had arrived when I was to start upon my first circuit. "Won't you see the children, Mr - before you go?" said my wife; and presently two little things-my son and daughter, the one a year or two, and the other a few months old, were brought down. My heart yearned towards them as I felt their little fingers playing over my face: but time pressed. "Farewell-God bless you all!" said I, kissing them fervently.

"Think of us!" said my wife, as we parted; and the next moment I was enclosed in the hackney-coach, opposite the large portmanteau which contained my little all. 'Twas a truly miserable vehicle, and the sight of the skinny feeble horses made one's heart ache. "Where shall I drive to, sir?" enquired a husky voice, out of a heap of old clothes from the coachbox. The Jarvey was a small spare fellow, with a thin face, and sharp watery eyes, and keen red nose-he looked as if he had been drinking gin all night. "Where to, sir?" he repeated. "Oh-Plowden Buildings, in the Temple, to take up a gentleman and his servant; and heark'eemake haste, for Heaven's sake!-'tis a quarter past nine already, and we must be at the Swan with Two Necks by ten o'clock exactly. D'ye think we can do it easily ?" sir-but ye see, we han't a hap'orth o' time to lose. Go it, ye cripplesgo it!" he added, addressing his horses, at the same time tenderly recommending his suggestions to their attention by sundry blows upon their

"Oh yes,

bony flanks-and off we rumbled from the door. Ah me, how curious I became! for we could not be going at a less rate than half a mile an hour; and it was only to imagine a stoppage in some of those infernal sinuosities leading from Cheapside to the coach office; or even a break down! with an eye to the avoidance of which latter mishap doubtless it was that Jarvey went the gingerly pace he did and which kept me in a fever of apprehension. Then there were my friend Q. and his servant, with Heaven knows how much luggage, to be got into and upon the rickety fabric! Q., however, was ready and waiting for us-and in a very short time we drove off, having exactly nineteen minutes in which to go from almost the extremity of the Temple to Lad Lane by ten o'clock. Oh! Christopher, why will mortals push off every thing to the eleventh hour? Why do they take so little care to set out on a journey calmly and comfortablyloving rather to pass the precedent hour in a stew and perspiration curses rising momentarily to their lips from a soul boiling over with irritability? Ah me! Up Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill we positively crawled. When we reached St Paul's it wanted ten minutes to ten o'clock. Good; but we had to go round St Paul's Churchyard-and I did not know in what part of Cheapside Lad Lane was; and our horses seemed, through mere exhaustion, to be slackening even the sorrowful pace at which they had hitherto gone. The line of somebody on the death of somebody— "The weary wheels of life at length stood still

was present to my mind every moment. Q. and I made many good resolutions as we kept our eyes on our watches, and popped our heads out of the windows every half minute to see whether the road was clear-that we would never run so near the wind again. We got into Cheapside, however, duly ;-there we were only once interrupted for about half a minute; and just as our watches showed four minutes to ten, we turned down a very narrow street on the left hand-side, leading down directly to the coachoffice. When we had got about three quarters down this street we were stopped by two large and most enor


mously-laden carts, standing one on each side-and how to get on we knew ed out curses against the lubberly carnot. In vain our little Jarvey squeakters, who listened with a contemptuously indifferent air, and deigned no reply. In an agony I opened the to the coach-office to tell the people coach door, jumped out, and ran down there where we were. farther down than I had suspected; I It was much rushed breathless into the yard.

ham coach start from this place?" I
"Does not the Estafette Birming-
enquired eagerly of a man slashing
water over the mud-bespattered wheels
of a mail-coach.

minutes and more."
"Yes, it does; but it's off this ten

"Yes, sir."


deed-at a quarter to ten, and doesn't
"Yes-starts werry punctual in-
stop no time for nobody, never, sir!"

"Do you really mean that the

coach is gone?"

"Yes"-slap went another pail-full over the wheels of the mail-coach.

the places were taken, that the time "Why, the people told me, when was ten o'clock exactly."

"Did they, indeed, sir? Then they was quite wrong, sir, and no mistake, he replied, phlegmatically.

"Good God! what shall we do? We've paid our fares.".


Never returns no b'lieve."

money, "Have we a chance of catching the coach, any where ?"

"Why not much," said he, taking off his cap to scratch his head-" but if you like you may try, sir; if you goes uncommon quick you may have a chance of catching the coach at the Angel, at Islington.'

A hopeful beginning this of my first circuit. I came back to the coach, which I found had just got past the municated the dismaying intelligence two carts above spoken of, and comto Q. and the coachman. I looked at the horses, and my heart smote me, as I said, "Come, off!-off for the Angel as fast as ever you can go! -our only chance:" In a trice we long broad straight street or road that were on our way, and soon got into a really galloped all the way. led directly towards the Angel.



the poor beasts contrived to go such a pace I know not, though I could hear the grievous thwacks incessantly "raining influence" on their lean hides. My heart ached for the wretch. ed beasts; and I thought, thank God! we shall, at all events, have nothing of this sort upon the railroad-the engine can't draw on one's sympathy!

But at length, as we dashed round to the Angel, there stood a coach the coach-ready to start, the coachIman with his foot on the wheel, and the whip and reins in his hand, and the guard evidently looking out for some one. "Come, come, gentlemen, really but this an't the correct thing; I'm a quarter of an hour behind my time with waiting for you! Come, jump up, gentlemen-jump up-the porter will put your luggage on; quick, Jarvey, quick!" The offended Jehu was obeyed; we paid the Jarvey seven shillings, the scamp demanding ten (!) the servant got up on the front, Q. and I behind-crack went the whip, off were whisked the cloths from the horses, cheerily blew the guard his horn-and away we went at a rattling pace!

Hurried as had been our latter movements, I had contrived to purchase a Times newspaper before the coach set off, but, on attempting to read it, found that the wind was too high; so I was obliged to put it into my pocket for a more convenient season. "Ah!" thought I, as we rattled rapidly along, "every step carries us further away from the centre of action and influence-glorious London! Tomorrow morning, and for the next three weeks or so, I shall be a day behind the world; I shall get every thing at secondhand-I shall be gloat


ing over that which has been forgotten in London!" The sky wore a bleak, mottled appearance, and the weather was very squally. Gusts of a keen north-easterly wind swept searchingly past us, accompanied with occasional hail and rain, and made us very soon regret having taken outside places. I had a large blue cloak-two, in fact, made into one-with an ample cape, which, hood-like, I threw over my head when the weather was sharpest, and so in a considerable measure sheltered myself from the sleet and rain and cutting wind. Q. had an old greatcoat, and an immense " fortable" round his neck. He and I sat with our backs to the horses. Next to him sat a man having the appearance of an elderly commercial traveller. Opposite to me sat the guard on a pile of coats and Mackintoshes; next to him sat two men of humble appearance, who were going, it seemed, only half way. As the weather became more and more disagreeable, the guard gave us all a couple of thick greatcoats to spread over our laps; but they were insufficient to keep my legs warm, for the wind rushed through below wretchedly. Our umbrellas were next to useless, the wind was so high, but my cape did me good service on the occasion of one or two violent hail-storms. By the time that we had got about twenty miles we were quite benumbed with the cold; and whenever the coach stopped to change horses Q. and I jumped down and ran on as fast as we could to warm ourselves again. The other passengers had, as frequently, recourse to brandy, and brandy and water.* On one of these occasions we were joined by a fellow who coolly

A recollection of the following sensible observations it was that prevented me from ever resorting to the use of spirits on such occasions :

"I may here allude to the common practice of taking a dram' of some kind of spirits before exposure to cold, a practice both foolish and dangerous; the stimulating effect of the spirit soon goes off, and is followed by a degree of languor proportioned to the amount of stimulation. This is the state in which the body is most easily chilled ; the secretion of the skin most easily checked; in which the person is most liable to take cold,' and, if he is exposed to the influence of cold after the stimulating effects have subsided, the chances are very strongly in favour of his suffering from it. Spirits ought not to be taken before such exposure, unless the person is to be exposed but for a very short time, or unless the dose is to be repeated as often as the effects of the previous dose begin to subside. Coffee does not seem liable to this objection; its stimulating effects are much more lasting; and its warming effects seem to me to be even greater, and the subsequent languor is certainly less. Its cordial effects-the duration of the stimulus it affords-was, I believe, first noticed by Dr Rush, in his

squeezed himself between Q. and his left-hand-side companion, though there was hardly room for him, and whose appearance and demeanour afforded scope for rather amusing observation. He seemed about thirty or thirty-two; was rather good-looking; wore large and well-trimmed whiskers; his hat was stuck on one side with a devilme-care kind of air; he had a rich green silk comfortable round his neck-and was, in short, very showily dressed, as he sometimes enabled us to see by very unnecessarily opening his crack topcoat. He possessed a most impudent volubility and sangfroid. He gave out his "damme's!" and "God damme's!" with infinite frequency, fluency, and zest in his conversation with the guard, and there was that in his manner which satisfied me that he believed himself exciting a most favourable impression among us. Not so, however, with Q. and me, who received all his overtures and sallies in frigid silence, with an air that soon disconcerted him. The guard, a steady matter-of-fact fellow, at length seemed influenced by our demeanour, and talked less and less with the intruder, who eventually had to smoke his cigar in silence. Disgusting fellow! he never once thought of asking any of us whether his doing so might be disagreeable, though he must have seen that the smoke often came in our faces. I was a long while balancing in my mind whether or not I should request him to desist, but at length thought it prudent not to incur the risk of an insolent answer; for what good could come of quarrelling with such a being? He held his cigar in his right hand-a huge coarse red hand-on the thick little finger of which glittered a massive gold ring, while another sparkled on the little finger of his left hand, which, that we might observe, he kindly took, several times, out of the double-glove in which it was enveloped. This gives me occasion for a brief, and pleasant, and very learned

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which, for my part, I do not like to see on a man's hand, except in the single case of a plain mourning ring; yet, nowadays, how general is the use of them becoming! I lately stood for some time close beside the Right Hon. Mr Rice, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for instance, while he was speaking, and observed that he had a couple (!) of thick rings on the little finger of his left hand, and also, unless I am mistaken, two similar ones upon one of the fingers of his right hand. Now, why might he not as well have a hole drilled in his nose, and a ring hung there? I protest that, not long ago, a common cab-driver opened the door of his vehicle for me, with a hand, on the little finger of which was what seemed a gold ring! Really this is too bad, going beyond even his plebeian pals in ancient Rome, who, as you know, dear Christopher, wore only iron rings [Stat. Silv. iii. 2, 144]; to distinguish themselves from whom, the patricians were led to wear golden and gemmed rings,* and at length carried their coxcombry to such a pitch as to have their rings for summer and their rings for winter! as you recollect in Juvenal:

"Crispinus Tyrias humero revocanti la


Ventilet æstivum digitis sudantibus aurum, Nec sufferre queat majoris pondera gemmæ."-(I. 28.)

Again-then ancient dandies originally wore only one ring, and that on the last finger but one (digitus annularis) of the left hand; then they wore several rings; and at length, precious prigs! several rings on the same finger; as testify Horace and Martial. The barristers, it seems, Quoth the stern satirist already quoted, were particularly partial to them.

Ut redeant veteres, Ciceroni nemo ducentos

Nunc dederit nummos-nisi fulserit annulus ingens."-(VII. 138, 9).

Enquiry into the effect of ardent spirits.' He says that he once knew a country physician who made a practice of drinking a pint of strong coffee previous to long-continued exposure to cold, and found it more cordial to him than spirits in any form."-ROBERTSON on Diet and Regimen, pp. 44, 45.

Often of immense value. Poor Nonius was proscribed by Antony for the sake of a gem in his ring, said to be worth 40,000 sesterces. A full account of rings is to be found in Facciolati's Lexicon, sub voce.

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