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payment of costs by the defendant. The costs were paid; the record again brought down; the cause called on; the jury sworn; and then the defendant cried peccavi! offered to submit to the damages assessed before, and pay all costs of the second trial. What man in his sober senses would reject such overtures! Of course I acceded to them, packed up my briefs, and bolted. The costs were very heavy, for witnesses had been subpænaed to rebut the pleas of justification. I write from recollection, but if my memory does not deceive me, the taxed costs between party and party were more than £300. My extra costs would have swallowed up the damages, but my “good-nature” would only accept those out of pocket, about thirty pounds; leaving the pretty “unsteady" lass seventy to comfort herself with, on the strength of which she married a very steady baker in less than a month. But again I lost my reverend client! “Was ever such a gross dereliction of duty! to submit to a dastardiy compromise; to spare the well-deserved exposure! such scandalous oppression! such unheard-of, such base, such unprecedented calumny on a poor, helpless, unfriended girl! and her
own attorney, after taking up her cause 'good. naturedly,' benevolently, and boldly, to cow before the front of cruelty, and the pride of rank and purse!!!” &c. &c. &c. So my reverend friend bade me good-by; transferred his patronage and his business elsewhere; and, though we have once or twice, during the last twenty years, met on cool and distant terms, I have never seen him or any of his connexion, within the walls of my office, from that hour to this. We were previously on terms of intimacy.
My “good nature” has been eternally in my way; another early incident of my professional life will show this in another light. In the last instance, it led me into the folly of espousing a bad case on its merits, on the solicitation of an ass who could not understand its demerits; and though I won the case, I lost the blockhead's business, which was far better worth gaining; but the next folly into which my “good nature" plunged me entailed with it loss of time, trouble, money, and connexion too, simply because I laid people under obligations, who were too poor to discharge them, and too proud to acknowledge them! and, perhaps I should say, toc mean to offer that indirect, but satisfactory
acquittance which is easily won by the favor. able introduction of a young professional man to the circles of rank and wealth. i
I had still next to nothing to do, when accident brought me to the acquaintance of a lady of high birth and considerable property, but whose affairs were deeply, though not irretrievably involved. The peculiar introduction which I had to her, though the object of it was expressly to offer my professional services, compelled me, as I thought, to offer them gratuitously. They were accepted with an avidity that onght to have made me distrustful of their value being appreciated: but I had undertaken no trifling duty; there were bailiffs to bafile, duns to tranquilize, annuitants to awe, friends to coax, and, in a word, the devil to pay. How I ever got through it, I cannot tell, but I did clear the road; and finally, by cutting down one claim, compromising another, and setting at defiance two or three score, till they willingly took a shilling in the pound, I succeeded in extricating my “hunorable” client, and comfortably left her to make the best shift she could on some twelve hundred a-year. I was never asked for my costs, nor ever asked her for them,
though they would have been 'no trifle; but a year or two after I casually met her in the park, where certainly I had no business to be. She was walking with a female relative.
“Good morning, Mrs. Leighton: it is a lovely day.”
The glass to the eye, and a distant courtesy.
"I wonder that the park is so deserted in this weather.”
A second courtesy, partaking rather of the bow. If I have too much good-nature, I certainly seldom want assurance; and that is a kind of compensation-balance---a good set-off, as my brethren would say.
“Laura, my dear, I fear the carriage will miss us;" and so saying, my “honorable" client was meditating an escapade closely bordering on the cut direct. I resolved this should not succeed.
“Apropos of the carriage, Mrs. Leighton, had you any more trouble with that rascally coach-maker, Stiffspring ?”
“Oh, my dear Mr. Sharpe, I declare I didn't know you! don't mention the fellow's name; you quite distress me,the horrid crcature! but I can't stop to talk now, for the wind is
very cold, (it was a sultry day in July !) I shal! see you soon," and so saying, she directly turned back, assuring “ Laura” that the carriage must have gone the other way. I pursued my own; and never have seen her since, though I hear she is again in the same quagmire in which I first found her: and there she may remain for me.