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looked desperate, and some extraordinary effort must be made to maintain appearances? Things were in this state when I received a call from a venerable old gentleman, for whom I had been actively employed in my clerkship. Though I had almost jumped up in ecstacy at the unwonted sound of voices in the outer room, I felt bitter disappointment when my visitor was ushered in; for I inferred that his object could only be to discuss old business of which I thought I had taken leave for ever, or to bother me with the yet more provoking inquiry after papers or documents, long since sent to the tomb of the Capulets. I was mistaken. “Mr. Sharpe, I have been at a stand-still ever since I lost you: nobody understands my case: nobody will read my papers: I have to begin again, and go over all the old ground, what can I do ’’’ “Tell me how I can help you, and I will with all my heart.” “You must take the business into your own hands.” “That would be unfair to my late masters.” “They wish it themselves.”

I inquired into the fact, and found it was so I cannot consistently, with the mask that I am obliged to assume, mention their names; and if I could, my testimony to their liberal and generous behaviour could add but little to the very distinguished station which they have long and deservedly occupied in the profession. This old gentleman was the claimant of property exceeding half a million sterling. I believe that it was nearly double that amount, but I never accurately learnt the sum. He was a man of first-rate abilities and wonderful resolution; he had been engaged for a quarter of a century in prosecuting this claim, and had accumulated papers upon it sufficient to load a coal-wagon. Disappointment, however, had attended all his efforts: he had three times memorialized the special tribunal which parliament had appointed for the investigation of his and similar cases, and he had three times been turned back. In this dilemma, he was recommended to apply to the eminent house to which I have alluded; his papers were in a foreign language which I alone in the office understood; and hence he was handed over to my care. When I left the office, I had, by dint of

immense exertion, reduced his voluminous papers to a manageable form, and put the Imat. ter in such a simple train for explanation, that I never dreamt of my further aid being required. It is difficult, however, for the ablest man to take up another's work; and poor Mr. Boyle soon found himself at sea with my successor. Had I at this time made a bargain with him, he felt his case so beset with difficulties, and so likely to survive, if not to murder him, for he was then seventy-two, that he would gladly have allowed me five per cent. on all that I might recover; indeed, he hinted as much; but I neither then nor now think such a mode of doing business quite honest, or at least, respectable. When relieved from all scruples of delicacy, by the kindness of his former solicitors, I resumed the case with all the energy I could command. His age prevented his daily coming to me; and consequently, I spent my time, often extending far into night, at his house. I succeeded for him to the full extent of his demand; but not till my statement of it, and my proofs, had been submitted to the keen scrutiny and close consideration of that clearheaded statesman, the late Mr. Huskisson. I shall not soon forget the grateful elation with which Mr. Boyle announced to me his success. He had been laboring for years in vain. He had spent life’s best existence in painful research, in self-denying privation, in prison, in want, and in personal danger; resolved never to abandon, but with life itself, the prosecution of a case which afforded him the only prospect of satisfying creditors who owed their losses to his most unmerited misfortunes. He had at length triumphed. He frankly and gratefully acknowledged that he owed that triumph essentially to my intelligence and industry. He was placed by it in circumstances, not only of independence, but of wealth, even after paying to the uttermost farthing every sixpence that he owed; and to his honor it should be added that effluxion of time had long extinguished every legal liability. His creditors nobly acknowledged his merit, for they not only returned him the interest on their debts, but presented him with an estate which cost them sixty thousand pounds. He called for my bill, and I looked on my fortune as made: it somewhat exceeded forty-one pounds, five shillings, and sixpence, and was paid to a fraction; but I lost my client! I did afterwards conduct for him an appeal to the privy council, involving a comparatively trifling sum of five or six thousand pounds, and I lost it on a point of law. He was too noble-minded to have resented this, as the failure was not mine. I attribute his desertion of me to a very different cause, and one which, I fear, vindicated it to his own mind. Having paid his creditors in full, he wished to supersede his bankruptcy. The commission was of nearly thirty years’ date; he was very old and infirm; and I collected from him that

complicated and serious accounts were still out

standing between him and the estate of his deceased partner. I deprecated the supersedeas of his bankruptcy, lest it should rip open differences which costly and perennial litigation alone could settle: he could not comprehend the difficulty, and, I fear, ascribed it to motives that he disdained,—a wish to protect him by technical defense, from obligations that he knew were just. If this was not the cause of his alienation from me, I know it not to this hour; but so dire was the offense that I unconsciously gave him, that he limited his gratitude strictly to my demand, and cut me from that day, or nearly so, to the day of his death,

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