Law and Lawyers: Curious Facts and Characteristic Sketches
This is a reprint of a volume that was published in 1868 by W.P Nimmo, Edinburgh, in the series Nimmo's Commonplace Books. It offers a variety of colorful -- and occasionally ribald -- anecdotes drawn from the history of English law, such as "A Judge in the Stocks-Lord Camden," "Eccentric Epitaph on a Barrister," "Lord Brougham's Rebuke of Rigmarole," and "The Last Temple Revel."
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Page 38 - He rose slowly from his seat : he left the woolsack with deliberation ; but he went not to the nearest place, like ordinary Chancellors, the sons of mortal men ; he drew back by a pace or two, and, standing as it were askance, and partly behind the huge bale he had quitted for a season, he began to pour out, first in a growl, and then in a clear and louder roll, the matter which he had to deliver, and which for the most part consisted in some positive assertions, some personal vituperation, some...
Page 85 - Both these might be performed by deputy; but the principal was to answer for the success of the trial, the deputy only venturing some corporal pain for hire, or perhaps for friendship.
Page 26 - Page, who, joined to the other judges, serjeants, and benchers present, danced, or rather walked round about the coal fire, according to the old ceremony, three times ; during which, they were aided in the figure of the dance by Mr. George Cooke, the prothonotary, then...
Page 15 - Nor was it only the thunder of his fierce declamation — very effectual, though somewhat clumsy, and occasionally coarse — with which he could prevail against an adversary, and master an audience. He had no mean power of ridicule, as playful as a mind more strong than refined could make it ; while of sarcasm he was an eminent professor, but of the kind which hacks, and tears, and flays its victims, rather than destroys by cutting keenly. His vigorous understanding, holding no fellowship with...
Page 49 - ... of a contract on a large scale for shoes, the question mainly was, whether or not they were well and soundly made and with the best materials. A number of witnesses were called. One of them, a first-rate...
Page 139 - Curran was engaged in a legal argument ; behind him stood his colleague, a gentleman whose person was remarkably tall and slender, and who had originally intended to take orders. The judge observing that the case under discussion involved a question of ecclesiastical law — " Then," said Curran, " I can refer your lordship to a high authority behind me, who was once intended for the church, though in my opinion he was fitter for the steeple.
Page 88 - Curran had no conversational rule whatever : he spoke from impulse, and he had the art so to draw you into a participation, that, though you felt an inferiority, it was quite a contented one. Indeed nothing could exceed the urbanity of his demeanour. At the time I spoke of he was turned of sixty, yet he was as playful as a child.
Page 46 - He moved, however, for the writ, making the best use he could of the observations in the brief. The judge was perfectly astonished, and the audience amazed. The judge said, " I never heard of such a writ — what can it be that adheres pavimento ? Are any of you gentlemen at the bar able to explain this ?