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Poor Wilson could say no more himself, and gasping for breath, and apparently suffocated with rage, he put on his hat, and left me abruptly: before he reached the foot of the
stairs, he reiterated his instructions in a peremp·tory tone: “ Immediately, Mr. Sharpe, if you
please, immediately.” Taylor remained behind, apparently unmoved by all the scene, and unconscious of any thing extraordinary.
“Well, Mr. Taylor, I have my suspicions; pray who used the pretty words cheat and blackguard ?'"
6 Mr. Wilson.”
“I thought as much: and who began the controversy ?”
" Then bring Mr. Wilson here again to-mor
He came accordingly, cool and composed ; laughed at the affair of the previous day, thanked me for my negligence in not retaining all the bar, employed me on the tallow-contract where he proved to be right, and without litigation beyond the service of a writ, he obtained nearly all the difference in the value of the consignment.
"Qui modus tibi fuit frumenti æstimandi? aut honararil?"-CIC.
A man constantly on the look-out, can hardly fail of finding something to do. Though my success in Boyle's affair got me very little money, it acquired me some credit for capability. A public inquiry of great national importance was in progress; an insulated matter connected with it, required professional investigation, and many solicitors of ten times my experience having declined the duty, not only because it was unpopular in itself, but attended, as was supposed, with some little personal risk, I was invited to undertake it. I was so very green at this time, that I was unconscious of the favorable position in which I stood, and the advantage it gave me in fixing my own terms, for time pressed; I was to embark within four-and-twenty hours of receiving my instructions, and as I have noticed, nearly a dozen attorneys having already refused the office, the government was so driven into a cor. ner, that I might have named what compensation I pleased; it would have been promptly given. The same insouciance about the position of my employers, misled me here. I was summoned to the Foreign Office. At the end of a long apartment, busily occupied in papers from which he seemed unwilling to take his eye, sat a young man scarcely older than myself, and dressed in the extreme of fashion, with whiskers and moustaches of no common dimensions; they were at that period much less than at present; his heels were decorated with gilt · spurs of extraordinary length; his trousers braided en militaire, and in fact his whole costume partook of the style of military undress: It was not Lord Lyndhurst, then Sir John Copley, though the very next day I recollect meeting this learned Solicitor-General, in consultation with his yet more learned colleague, in precisely the same equipment. It was not till long after, that I found out the title of my dandy instructor; on this occasion I knew not whether he was lord or commoner, patrician or plebeian, beyond what the locality argued. I had been standing some five minutes or more, when he first looked up, eyeing me with a stare compounded of hauteur, scrutiny, and surprise. I thought to myself even then, and very frequently on similar occasions since, how vastly ignorant these great folks are of everything and everybody, beyond the circle of their own little world! or would it never enter into their imaginations to conceive that even the most juvenile attorney on the roll would be abashed for a single moment by a supercilious official stare: we should indeed have labored in vain at judge's chambers, and the master's office, if such petty courtesies of life did not at once secure our self-possession. I never meet with a rude man, especially one who is condescendingly rude, but I immediately vote him vulgar; and vulgar men are below the level of gentility, let their birth or station be what it may, and therefore below mine! By this little syllogism, I can always recall my self-complacency, whatever may be the offense. I recommend it strongly to the adoption of my professional brethren.