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the Earl of Sandwich, and, in the afternoon, went to the privy-council to plead, upon a petition, before the king: and the next day after, the earl asked one of the lords how Mr. Attorney behaved himself; 'very well,' said that lord. 'I thought so,' answered the earl, 'for I sent him instructed with at least three bottles in his belly.' That was a good medicine for his modesty, and, perhaps, at court, no ill preparative. But, setting aside that rhodomontade, his lordship, by a steady temperance and sobriety, held the empire of his reason, and vigour of his constitution, safe and upright till, under the cold hand of death, both fell together. But, as for such entertainments as these, it is great pity that the tokens of barbarity should yet remain; and much more, that the consequences, often fatal, should be as braves of conquests, with a people who would take it ill not to be accounted civil, wise, and learned." [Life of Lord-keeper Guilford, vol. i. p. 88.)
THE CREST OF THE TEMPLE.
The Pegasus which appears over the principal entrance of the Inner Temple, and which is the Crest of that society, takes its origin from the seal used by the first Knights Templars. Hugh de Payens and Geoffrey de St. Aldemar, had, it is said, engraved upon their seal the figures of two men riding upon one horse,—a type of their pa
verty. A rude representation of this seal may be seen in the Historia Minor of Matthew Paris. This emblem was corrupted by the lawyers, the successors to the Knights Templars, into a Pegasus, and to this day remains their Crest. The Society of the Middle Temple adopted the emblem of a lamb bearing a banner, or in heraldic language, a device of a field argent charged with a cross gules, and upon the nombrel thereof a holy lamb with its nimbus and banner. These two devices, which are scattered very liberally over all the gateways in the Temple, gave rise to the following
As by the Templars' holds you go,
In emblematic figures, shew
That clients may infer from thence How just is their profession,
The lamb sets forth their innocence,
O happy Britons ! happy isle!
Let foreign nations say,
And law without delay.
Deluded men, these holds forego,
Those artful emblems tend to show
'Tis all a trick, these are all shams
By which they mean to cheat you;
But have a care !—for you're the lambs;
Nor let the thought of no delay,
To these their courts misguide you,
'Tis you're the showy horse, and they
Cowper, (neither the Lord Chancellor nor the Reporter, but the Poet,) in one of those beautiful and playful letters which he used to write,
"While his cold heart to ruin ran darkly the while,"
has made the following humorous proposal for the publication of poetical law-reports :—
"Poetical reports of Law-cases are not very common; yet it appears to me desirable that they should be so 5—many advantages would accrue from such a measure. They would in the first place be more commodiously deposited in the memory, just as linen, grocery, and other articles, when neatly packed, are known to occupy less room, and to lie more conveniently in any trunk, chest, or box, to which they may be committed. In the next place, being divested of that infinite circumlocution, and the endless embarrassment in which they are involved by it, they would become surprisingly intelligible in comparison with their present obscurity. And lastly, they would by that means be rendered susceptible of musical embellishment; and instead of being quoted in the country with that dull monotony, which is so wearisome to by-standers, and frequently lulls even the judges themselves to sleep, might be rehearsed in recitative, which would have an admirable effect in keeping the attention fixed and lively, and would not fail to disperse that heavy atmosphere of sadness and gravity which hangs over the jurisprudence of our country. I remember many years ago being informed by a relation of mine, who in his youth had applied himself to the study of the law, that one of his fellow students, a gentleman of sprightly parts, and very respectable talents, of the poetical kind, did actually engage in the prosecution of such a design, for reasons I suppose somewhat similar to, if not the same with, those I have now suggested. He began with Coke's Institutes, a book so rugged in its style that an attempt to polish it seemed an Herculean labour, and not less arduous and difficult than it would be to give the smoothness of a rabbit's fur to the prickly back of a hedgehog. But he succeeded to admiration, as you will perceive by the following specimen, which is all that my said relation could recollect of the performance.
Tenant in fee-
And need neither quake nor quiver,
To him and his heirs for ever."
The hint which he thus threw out, Cowper has himself acted upon, and has given in the following lines a report of the case of
Nose v. Eyes.
Between Nose and Eyes a sad contest arose,
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
So Tongue was the Lawyer and argued the cause With a great deal of skill and a wig full of learning, - •
While Chief Baron Ear sat to balance the laws, So famed for his talent of nicely discerning.