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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, April 12, 1890   By:

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APRIL 12, 1890.


MY DEAR MR. PUNCH, As the representative of Justice in this country, I appeal to you. And when I write this, you must not imagine that I claim, in my own person, to represent Justice no, Sir, I only to some extent suggest the Law a very different matter. But, Sir, as suggesting the Law, I apply to you for redress on behalf of hundreds, nay, thousands, of members of a very noble and learned profession. Sir, you will have noticed that the Law Courts are congested. Look through the daily list (this you can do when term recommences), and you will find, that although Chancery is doing fairly well, there is scarcely a movement in Common Law. The reason for this is obvious. Nearly all the Common Law Judges are away, and business is simply at a standstill. Now, Sir, I am very reluctant to give their Lordships more trouble than necessary, but I do think, for all our sakes, that increased facility should be afforded for trying cases single handed. It should be managed in this wise. But here, perhaps, in the cause of intelligibility, you will permit me to describe my method in common (dramatic) form.

SCENE A Court in the Queen's Bench Division. Judge seated at a table covered with telephones. Bar benches empty, two Litigants (laymen) discovered in the well .

His Lordship. Now, Gentlemen, as you are appearing in person, you can say and do what you please. It does not matter to me in the least, to use a colloquial expression, what you are up to. All I would ask is, that I shall not be disturbed until the time comes for me to deliver my ruling.

Litigants (together). Certainly, my Lord. ( They both commence quarrelling. )

His Lordship (with C. C. C. telephone to ear, and mouth to corresponding tube). Quite right. I agree with the verdict of the Jury, and sentence the Prisoner at the Bar to seven years' penal servitude. ( With Q. B. D. No. 4 laid on. ) After carefully considering all the evidence that has been submitted to the Jury, and giving due weight to the fact that the Defendant's vehicle was admittedly on the wrong side of the road, I have no hesitation in declaring £100 damages a just award. ( Dropping tube, and taking up apparatus of Q. B. D. No. 5, sitting as Divisional Court. ) I entirely concur in the judgment my learned Brother has just delivered. ( Dropping tube, and addressing Litigants before him ). Well, and now you two gentlemen how are you getting on?

Litigants (together). Oh, please, my Lord, we have made it up.

His Lordship. Ah! I see; you have had no lawyers to advise you. Well, now that that matter is settled, the Court must stand adjourned until to morrow, as I have business requiring my attention in Chambers. ( To Usher). See that the telephones are switched on accordingly. [ Exeunt omnes.

There, my dear Mr. Punch , could not some such arrangement as that I have shadowed forth above be reached during the present Vacation? The situation is really serious. Entre nous , PORTINGTON (my excellent and admirable clerk) has not made an entry in my fee book for more than a fortnight on my word of honour, Sir, more than a fortnight!

Yours truly,


Pump handle Court, Temple, 5th of April, 1890.

[Illustration: MAXIMS FOR THE BAR. No. IV.

"Show no mercy to the Police; they have few Friends."]

ROUTLEDGE'S Atlas of the World is not a short biography of Mr. EDMUND YATES, but a pocketable (if you've got the opportunity) volume, with sixteen coloured maps. It is pleasant to see that, though the Atlas bears the imprimatur of ROUTLEDGE, the name of AYR is not effaced from the Map of Scotland. True that Ayrshire is coloured green, but Ayr is quite outside this, in fact it has got outside the coast line, and is represented as being quite out at sea. More in this than meets the eye... Continue reading book >>

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