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last term, that it could not have been worse; while Jiggins wishes he may never finger a fee, if next term the wine will not be worse than ever it was. In short, while these gentlemen are drinking the wine, the wine is getting worse and worse every mouthful; but when, at last, the last drop is drained out of the decanter, the wine is pronounced absolutely not drinkable!
The politics of Lincoln's Inn Hall deserve our gravest attention. At present, the question of paramount importance in the hall is the potatoe question; and parties are divided pretty equally into the "potatoe-with-jackets-on" party, and the "potatoe-without-jackets-on" party-both parties being equally violent and outrageous, as respectable political parties are in duty bound to be.
The "potatoe - with-jackets - on party assume the character of innovators, and pretend to call themselves reformers they talk perpetually of the march of intellect," and are morally certain that the "schoolmaster is abroad"-of which, as far as the poor man's intellects are concerned, there has not for a long time been a shadow of doubt; they laugh at the wisdom of our ancestors, and affect to be surprised how any rational man can suppose that the existence of our glorious constitution is involved in the potatoe-with-jackets-on question. They prate of economy too, in all matters that do not affect the pockets of themselves and their relationsand draw up documents to prove the necessity of a Commission to show the saving that will accrue to the Inn if the potatoe-with-jackets-on question is carried, in the manual labour now required for peeling the potatoes, and in the melted butter at present demanded to make the potatoes go down! In fact, the potatoe-with-jackets-on party, upon this and all other occasions, have proved themselves neither more nor less than talking potatoes.
The potatoe with-jackets-off party are of a different stamp-they talk little, but they think the more-they venerate the wisdom of our ancestors, and are devotedly attached to our glorious Constitution-they assert that potatoes-with-jackets-off have been in consumption within our Hall, from time whereof the memory of man extendeth, not to the contrary-they say Black
stone has laid it down, that immemorial custom carries the force of law, with which observation I entirely agree, and insinuate that the potatoewith-jackets-on party care neither for law nor gospel-which, there is too much reason to fear, is somewhere about the truth. They boldly assert that the pretended economy of the potatoe-with-jackets-on party is all my eye and Mrs Elizabeth Martinthat plates to peel the potatoes on must be bought by the Inn, to which the potatoe-with-jackets-on party reply, that plates are cheaper than melted butter. The potatoe-with-jackets-off party hold peeling potatoes in the dining-hall to be a filthy practice; to which the other party reply, that their thumbs may be supposed to be cleaner than the thumbs of the scullions—a rejoinder rebutted by the tart assertion of the potatoe-with-jackets-off party, that they (the p- W -j- 0party) don't know whether or not! Meetings and counter meetings have been held-resolutions and counter resolutions have been passed-petitions and counter petitions lie everywhere for signature by every body who can sign, and for signature by proxy by every body who cannotnobody knows where the potatoe question will end; and very many quiet, well-disposed respectable people are sick of the subject, and have given up eating potatoes altogether!
Latterly, the peelers, as the potatoewith-jackets on party is facetiously denominated, have become insolent in the highest degree, in consequence of the accession of the Irish party-by no means an inconsiderable faction in Lincoln's Inn Hall. This party, understanding the potatoe question as it does, was considered of great importance to the potatoe-with-jackets-on party, and its adhesion to their principles is considered the "precursor" of complete success. Indeed it is obscurely whispered throughout the Hall, that the Marchioness of Normanby, prime minister, has had a draft of a bill for the settlement of the potatoe question carried into Buckingham palace by one of the pages of the back-stairs-that her ladyship, with the other stipendiary ladies of the back-stairs, have considered the matter favourably, and are shortly expected to give their more than royal assent; while the he-fellows who are
held in their places by the petticoat strings of these high-minded damsels, have already, we understand, received orders to spare "no expense" on the potatoe question, and to hold themselves in readiness to conciliate the paramount Irish party by the imme. diate settlement of the long-mooted potatoe-with-jackets-on question, as also, in the next session, if possible, to agree to a repeal of the Legislative Union!
We do not intend, in this place, to enter at large into the antiquities of the several Inns of Court, my learned friend, Counsellor O'Rubbishy, being at present up to the ears in cobwebs and black-letter upon that very subject, to which the learned gentleman intends to prefix a dissertation upon the origin of eating and drinking in general, and of legal eating and drinking in particular; also, in the appendix, to give a minute account of the original eating-house on Mutton Hill, where the learned gentleman and myself dine in vacation, to which will be added, observations tending to throw light upon the personal identity of the first lawyer, who, saving your reverence, is credibly understood to be neither more nor less than Old Clooty himself! I only mention what Counsellor O'Rubbishy means to do in this place, as we put a specification into the Patent Office to secure an exclusive right—that is to say, to prevent, in the case of the learned gentleman, needy scribblers in trashy periodicals from doing by him as they have done (God forgive them!) by me-taking the bread out of my mouth, and leaving me, by the theft of an original idea, minus a dinner! I don't so much mind a man stealing an idea, if he knows how to work it up decently, but I do solemnly protest against my morocco being cut out by a brogue-makerand I hereby warn and advise all lite rary pirates whatsoever, who may glean from my conversation or otherwise what they have the effrontery to call an original article, that whenever they throw my lion's hide over their asinine shoulders, I will take up the title of their stolen original-and, close upon the heels of it, write an article of my own head, that will knock them, as brother Jonathan has it, "into eternal smash!"
The law, like all other sublunary matters, is not stationary but pro
gressive. The profession "goes ahead" marvellously. We ourselves recollect many great and important changes. We are full of experience, and looked up to as a high authority in the Hall of Lincoln's Inn. We remember several epochs in the gastronomic history of the bar-about fiveand-twenty years ago we were not quite grey-we held one brief-and we had no wine in Lincoln's Inn Hall! It seems as if it were only yesterday! Then came, we recollect, the epoch of the bottle-seven years exactly after, I arrived at the dignity of the cucumber! I can safely hazard my reputation as a lawyer upon the fact, which I here give as my professional opinion, that from that time to the present the wine has got worse and worse every term; and that, if worse could now by any possibility be had for love or money, we should be required to swallow it. In my early days, when the world lay all smiling before me, as Tommy Moore has it, and I looked upon Lord Eldon as only a venerable old gentleman airing my chair, we dined off pewter platters-helped ourselves to gravy with iron spoons, that imparted to all our dishes a high chalybeate flavour—stuck our several knives promiscuously into the saltcellar, and suspended our "kibaubs" of impregnable mutton upon bipronged forks. Since that time we have gained a point—our forks are now tridents-our iron spoons, by some alchemical process, are transmuted into pewter, and our pewter platters are replaced by hydrographic (only think of the perfectibility of crockery) by hydrographic plates! About this time turnip radishes were introduced into our hall, and in Hilary Term 1801, we arrived at the epoch of cheese! Up to Trinity Term 1830, the profession drank their beer from a mug-I have heard before now of tea in a mug—but beer in a mug I never knew till I knew it in Lincoln's Inn Hall! The epoch of mug, however, like other memorable epochs, passed away, and was succeeded by the epoch of tumblers. About this time, too, an important change came over the spirit of our dreams-pewter was discarded-and the students actually appeared in the hall with silver spoons in their mouths!
This was the silver age
"How blest the silver age in early times, When no avenger knew or punish'd crimes!"
Soon after this our old tin candlesticks were superseded by bronzethis may be designated the age of brass !
I need not pursue further the mutability of human affairs-the philosophic reader has already perceived that human affairs are transitory and evanescent-that reform bills and bills of fare are enacted, discussed, objected to, and forgotten, and that an equal obscurity awaits the names of Lord John Russell and Dick the waiter! Eatables and empires disappeardrinkables like dynasties are swallowed and forgotten. But this is a trite subject and trite subjects are not the subjects for me!
The professional student will not fail to have observed, if he has followed my description with the attention it deserves, that there are two different classes of lawyers-those, to wit, who are never seen at Westminster Hall, and those who are never seen any where else-lawyers who are all teeth, and lawyers who are, on the contrary, all jaw!
I do not, I honestly confess, belong to the talking class; I might have been born deaf and dumb for all the opportunity I have ever had of displaying my forensic powers; I have therefore, in common with nine hundred and ninety-nine barristers out of every thousand, turned my attention exclusively to mastication. Of course, I would gladly have done the other thing if I could have got it to do; but, God help me! my father was not a successful attorney, which I take to be the true and only essential preliminary towards being a successful barrister; indeed, I do not think any one belonging to me ever saw that rare and curious animal an attorney, and it was for this very reason, I believe, that they put me to the barristerial business!
Accordingly I am grown old, and as I grew old I grew poor. The little substance that in trade, commerce, or manufacture, might have served as the nucleus of an independence, I have dissipated in the vain pursuit of a profession that has never yielded me a shilling. My dinner is now my
business and my enjoyment-during term time I am happy-in the vacation I am miserable-would that I were a dormouse to sleep away the tedious interval!
Ambitious reader, you are coming to the bar! I know you are-I know you must be, unless you are already a clergyman or a doctor; for your dear paternal father and mother have discovered that you are a genius; and the only sphere for their genius is the profession of the law! Perhaps you have had the bad luck to distinguish yourself at college, or at the spouting club; if so, may the Lord have mercy upon you-you are decidedly undone!
My young friend, I have been jocular; I am now serious. As you value your future happiness, take your own advice in the disposal of your life, and let your father and mother mind their own business; do not let them delude you into a fatal confidence that you are clever, or that you are loquacious. Loquacity and cleverness, as such, have little to do in amassing an independence. Do not desert the profession of arms, as Erskine did, for the law
believe me, you are not an Erskine, -nor the profession of medicine, as did Sir James Macintosh, for the law-fifty such sucking geniuses as yourself, could not make one Sir James Macintosh. Look to your prospects! look to your prospects! I repeat, for the third time, look to your prospects! and of a profession let your prospects govern the choice. Then may your fate be happier than mine; then, in some unenvied sphere of quiet and successful industry, may you decently maintain your wife, and creditably rear your children; then may you see the friend of your bosom at your hospitable board; then may you lend a helping hand to a fellow Christian in distress to me, perhaps, who began the race of life thoughtlessly, and with foolish confidence of success, now, in the evening of my days, comfortless, childless, without society, solace, or station; in loneliness passing away my appointed time in a naked garret, too happy to be permitted the opportunity of scribbling for my daily bread!
THE PICTURE GALLERY.
THERE is nothing in which the caprice of fashion is more strikingly manifested than in travelling. In this instance, as in numerous others, John Bull seems to take a pride in showing himself the mere creature of imitation. As when the foremost sheep in a flock leap a ditch, or scramble through a hedge, all the rest make a point of performing the same feat; so when the leaders of ton, at the close of the London season, order their horses' heads to be turned in any particular direction, a host of the middle classes -imitatorum servum pecus-are sure to follow in the track of their chariot wheels. Next to being fashionable himself, the best thing is, in John Bull's estimation, to be seen in the haunts of people of "mark and likelihood." If he goes to Brighton, it is not so much because he likes the place for who that has the slightest taste for the picturesque can like such a bleak, formal, gewgaw town?-as because it is frequented by the beau monde. Aristocratic Cheltenham is visited for the same reason; as, for reasons diametrically the reverse, some of the loveliest little nooks in the kingdom remain unnoticed, save by poor artists and still poorer poets. Many years ago Weymouth was all the rage, because it was the favourite resort of royalty. Next came the Highland influenza, when John Bull scampered, like a lunatic, across the Border, in order that he might be enabled to boast that he had seen those romantic regions which Scott's Lady of the Lake had just made the town talk. In 1814, the silly fellow must needs rush to Paris, the presence of the Allied Sovereigns there having made a trip to the French capital indispensable to his notions of gentility. His next fancy was for the Rhine and Switzerland, whither he was seduced by the example of Byron; for how could he possibly confess to ignorance of the scenes depicted in so celebrated a poem as Childe Harold? Just now, he is all for the Spas of Germany, Captain Head's popular Bubbles of Brunnen having recently brought these watering-places under the special notice of
the Sir Oracles" of taste and ton. There is something supremely absurd in this eagerness on the part of our middle classes to follow blindly wherever fashion leads the way. Only ima gine Russell Square, with Burton Crescent and half the Regent's Park at its heels, rushing off to Cheltenham or Brighton, or across the water to Spa or Baden-Baden, for no better reason than that the list of "fashionable arrivals" in these watering-places occupies an imposing space in the columns of the Morning Post! We laugh at the French for their vanity, and they may well laugh at us for the sacrifices we make in order to be thought genteel. This is the rock against which we are constantly wrecking our peace of mind. We had rather cease to live, than not live à-la-mode. In a word, we are the slaves of the lamp-and that lamp is, Fashion!
I cannot say I have any sympathy with this puny, sickly ambition so prevalent among our middle classes-especially those of the metropolis; and still less can I enter into the feelings which too often prompt them to underrate their own country, and to fancy that the word "Continent" has a genteeler and more imposing sound. Britain, so far as my travelling experience enables me to form an opinion, is unquestionably the noblest, the most marvellous, and—taking into consideration its lavish varieties of the sublime and beautiful-the most picturesque country in the world. Its numerous towns and cities, and their inhabitants, are unrivalled in intelligence, industry, and opulence; its Menai bridge and its railroads are equal in grandeur of design, and superior in utility, to the boasted passes of the Simplon; its proud "meteor-flag" streams in every port, and is familiar with every wave; and its armies are the conquerors of Waterloo. Then, as regards its scenery, which our wouldbe fashionable tourists are so prone to depreciate,—in the heart of its Scottish and Welsh Alps are to be found glens, waterfalls, and green, sunny, winding strips of valleys, quite as romantic as any that one meets with
even among the snowy ranges of the Jura or the Pyrenees; and in the softness and luxuriance of its sylvan landscapes, Provence, renowned in song, will not bear an instant's comparison with it. Let St John-as he has done in his delightful tale of Margaret Ravenscroft-speak in raptures of the "wooded Apennines," I, being a man of moderate expectations, am quite satisfied with the shades and green retreats" of Windsor Forest, even though they be but twenty miles distant from Cockaigne. Talk of Tempe and Arcadia ! I care not for the prose of Elian or the verse of Theocrítus; give me the view from the summit of the Long Walk, whence the eye ranges over a rich and apparently an endless variety of all that constitutes the perfection of home scenery-hill and dale, wood and water; flowery knolls, alive with the hum of bees; far-stretching glades and thick groves, from whose shady depths comes the distinct, mellow note of that "wandering voice," the cuckoo; sloping lawns, whereon the quiet sheep feed, and the sun lies like a smile from heaven; majestic avenues of oaks, elms, and beeches; and, in the remote distance, the Royal castle-worthy of England's monarchs-rearing up its noble head as though it were the guardian spirit of the scene!
Landscapes superior to this are not, I am persuaded, to be found in any part of Europe, let our enthusiasts for all that lies on the other side the Channel say what they will to the contrary. How would the refined Claude, or the vigorous Ruysdael, with his greater truth and exactitude of details, have exulted in the contemplation of such a prospect! But, exquisite as it is, it is by no means peculiar to the Forest, for the whole country is picturesque in an eminent degree. What, for instance, can be lovelier of its kind, than Miss Mitford's village of Three-mile-cross, with its wild common, which should
never be without a gipsy encampment, its clear gravelly springs, its one rustic mill, graceful in its simplicity as Rembrandt's, and its broad daisied meadows, through which winds the sleepy Loddon, here in the open sunshine, and there under the shade of trees which turn an untrained arch above its head? How well I know every spot of ground in this neighbourhood! Here I spent the only six weeks (far too brief) of a chequered life I would ever desire to spend over again. Happy moments such as these are like the refreshing springs that the wearied traveller meets with in the desert, and that give him strength to resume his journey. But if "our village" be deemed too tame and homely, pass on, pursuing the high-road, to the adjacent town of Reading, and an easy two-hours' walk shall bring you to the retired out-of-the-way hamlet of Caversham, whose many scenic attractions have been eloquently insisted on by Sergeant Talfourd in a sonnet worthy of his theme.
It was a painting of this pretty little village which hung near the bowwindow in the Picture Gallery, that suggested the foregoing remarks. The artist, I suspect, was Havell, and there was much in his sketch that reminded me of Gainsborough, whose freshness, vigour, and rare truth of delineation, had been imitated with happy effect. The perspective, in particular, was managed with consummate tact; and the disposition of the cattle in the foreground, together with the rich warm colouring of the clouds, and of the autumn-tinted foliage of Caversham park, showed that the artist had been a close observer of nature, even while he availed himself of hints furnished by the great masters of English landscape-painting. The subjoined tale is in illustration of this sketch; and, if it possess no other recommendation, it has at least the merit of being correct in its local descriptions.
THE PEDESTRIAN IN SPITE OF HIMSELF;
OR, THE MISHAPS OF A NIGHT.
"More exercise, my dear sir-you should really take much more exercise; for, with a constitution such as yours, I know no other way of pre. serving health."
"Just so, doctor, and that's the reason why I always make a point of walking five or six times up and down my study before breakfast, and the same number of times before dinner ;