« IndietroContinua »
Heaven send no more of us,
ness of the day is over ; while at Lin. God save the Queen !”. coln's Inn you are hustled by the mob
of the Victualling Office as you put which ridiculous perversion of the your foot over the threshold on quitting author's meaning was received with the Hall. There, in a sort of bar cut a full chorus, amid tremendous shouts off from the body of the Hall, presides of laughter and applause.
a young lady of very prepossessing The wine, however, is gone—the appearance, a greasy bib tucked under reckoning has been drunk out—and her chin, who is understood to be the the several messes, depositing their daughter of the head cook, and an wigs and gowns, look wistfully at a heiress of no inconsiderable expectatable-spoonful of the ruddy port that tions-verbum sap. The hungry mob clings affectionately to the bottom of confronts this amiable damsel, and the decanter, but dare not taste it, now the mangled remains of a sirloin considering that it would be considered of beef-now a baking-dish full of ungenteel ; so with great reluctance plate-washings—now a quarter or so they " homewards then take off their of ruined pigeon.pie-and, again, a several way," leaving the table spoon- plateful of an olio, combined of first ful of port to the expectant waiter, and second courses, of meat scraps and who has already swallowed it three or
sweet scraps, is set up for sale to the four times in the agony of a thirsty highest and last bidder by Miss imagination.
Georgina Robins as aforesaid. As As the several messes retire from the lots are severally knocked down, the hall, they have to shoulder in the the successful bidder produces a pew, progress of their exit a hungry mob ter spoon from under her cloak, and armed with platters, trenchers, baking- begins to stir up her particular “ lot,” dishes, jugs and mugs, coming to the sucking her thumbs from time to time auction; and it now becomes my duty with especial relish. One lady is to direct the attention of the bargain. overheard to complain, that “if she had hunting reader to the circumstances knowed as there wasn't not no custard attendant upon the ceremony of the in her • lot,' she'd be blowed afore auction, which at this very moment, she'd a giv ninepence-farden for't." like the performances at Greenwich Another holds up to the admiring fair,“ is a-going hexactly to begin." spectators the well-cleaned bone of a
Around the doors of all the dining- shoulder of mutton, and appeals to houses, eating-houses, and guttling- them whether “ that there for fifteenhouses of this vast metropolis, from pence is'nt a reggler himposition." the highly respectable boiled-beef While a lady, who has bid for soup, house in the Old Bailey, down to the pathetically observes, that “her huscheap and nasty “dead-meat shop" in band 'll give her a jolly good hiding Rupert Street, about six or seven for laying out his hard. earned money o'clock in the evening may be obser- on a bucket of slops." ved a lean and hungry mob of draggle- But it is high time to return from tailed women, the wives, daughters, the auction, which I have only alluded and dependants of artisans as lean to as a highly gratifying spectacleand hungry as themselves, in waiting a diffusion of useful knowledgeto purchase the bits, scraps, and re- equally profitable to the public and to mainders of victual, saving and except the honourable professors of the law. such as are reserved for the mock The course of gastronomic education turtle of the following day, together pursued in the Inns of Court, will next with all the plate-washings and dish- demand our serious consideration. scrapings of the establishment, which The Inner Temple professes to redisposes of them to these poor people ceive the rich and great more exclufor something about double their in- sively, and accordingly the legal bill trinsic value ; if, indeed, the leavings of fare at that Inn is recherché in a of the shabby-genteels who take out high degree-nothing plain ever being their tenpenny ration at such places, put upon the table, and French cookcan be truly said to bear any intrinsic ery preferred. The strictest silence value. Lincoln's Inn is no exception is enjoined in this Hall during the to eating houses in any other part of whole time of study, hob-nobbing the town; the only difference being, being interdicted as low, and no fur. that at the regular *dead-meat shops" ther intercourse permitted among the the auction is deferred until the busi- several members of the mess than an occasional scowl transmitted from one mortal Bacon, who so worthily sus. side of the table to the other_after tains the early reputation of this Inn, the manner of English who have not the entertainment consists of a first the honour of one another's acquaint- course of rashers and eggs, with gam. ance, and who, consequently, have an mon and spinach to follow ! undoubted right to assume every
Lincoln's Inn has produced more stranger to be a pickpocket, until there illustrious men than all the other Inns is good evidence to the contrary. In of Court, put them all together. Perthe Inner Temple Hall it is understood ceval belonged to this Inn-so did that you may, in a case of great emer- Pitt-so do I! Well, then, to descend gency, ask your neighbour for the a peg in the social scale-Camden, salt; but it is also understood that he Hardwicke, Ashley, Loughborough is not obliged to let you have it. It (afterwards Earl of Rosslyn), Erskine, will be advisable that the young and Lyndhurst, and fifty more, whose inexperienced student should not ven- names I do not now recollect, worthily ture to hazard an observation upon occupied the Chancellor's chair ; while the weather in the Hall, that being Ellenborough, Mansfield, and Denman here considered an indirect attempt to (inter alios), with equal dignity and make your neighbour's acquaintance, reputation have occupied the lastwhich he very properly resents by named excellent judge and most wor. staring you vacantly in the face, and thy man still occupies—the Chief Jussuspiciously buttoning up his breeches tice seat of England. To us Addingpockets.
ton belongs-to us Abbott—and I The Middle Temple is of a different know not how many other speakers of temperament, as the sound maxim of the House of Commons. The pulpit of law hath it,
our chapel has been adorned by the “ The Inner for the rich the Middle for presence of Hurd, of Van Mildert, and the poor"
many other divines of equal reputation And here accordingly the course of least in public regard, by Lonsdale.
in the Church ; and though last, not professional education is confined to
Of Chief Justices and other Judges of the scrag-end of a neck of mutton, the Common Pleas-of Chief Barons and occasionally-griskins. The consequences of this meagre and Justices of the King's Bench,
and Puisne Barons of the Exchequer, course of study may be easily predicted and the fact is well ascertained
our list is interminable, extending far that the Middle Temple has given to
into the gloom of remote antiquity. the world fewer great men, and these talent owing this constellation of
To what, then, is this galaxy to at longer intervals, than any of the
eminent men- _this firmament of the other Inns of Court. How indeed could it be otherwise ? What profes- arches the venerable hall of Lincoln's
stars of the legal profession, that oversional acumen can be derived from the
Inn ? Ambitious student, it is owing scrag-end of a neck of mutton, or what
to the solidity, the substantiality of inspiration can the sucking advocate imbibe from griskins? To the Benchers
our bill of faremit depends upon the of the Middle Temple I would say,
the natural and legitimate grub-it
in the language of–Blackstone I think consequence of what Doctor O'Toole, it was
that high authority in educational mat
ters, emphatically styles the “ ating “ Reform it altogether!"
and the drinkin'.' Gray's Inn is, if possible, still more But this part of our subject is delenten in the style of its professional serving of more minute consideration instruction—the daily routine in that -We proceed to a description of the ball consisting of, for the first course, bill of fare. potatoes boiled with butter-milk
s Roast beef second course, of potatoes roasted with:
Plum pudding. butter-milk—and third course, of pota
Roast leg of mutton toes boiled and roasted also with but.
Mondays, Custard pudding. ter-milk.
Tuesdays, On Sundays the students attenpay
College pudding. ion to bullock's liver fried, with tripe
Boiled mackerel and onions-while on Grand Day, out Wednesdays, Roast shoulder pf of respect for the memory of the im.
being drunk out, the conversation Thursdays, Bread and butter pud- comes to a stand-still, and silence reding.
sumes her dominion in the Hall. The Fried sole
turn which the conversation invariably Fridays,
Roast leg of mutton. takes, is naturally dictated by the
main object of the assembled partiesSaturdays, Pigeon pie.
that is to say, of and concerning din
ner- What was for dinner yesterday, Now, I put it to you, I put it to my and whether it was good—this is an learned friend on the opposite side, illustration of the pleasures of retrowhether this is not a substantial system spection- What is for dinner to-day, of English jurisprudence—whether and whether it is likely to be good there remains any wonder that Lin- being an illustration of the pleasures coln's Inn should be the inn she is of hope— And what will be for dinner and that the men of Lincoln's Inn to morrow, and so on. Scruggins obshould be the men they are ? I must serves to his opposite neighbour at the observe that the bill of fare, above mess, that in his humble opinion the transcribed exactly from the records roasted legs of mutton are always of the Inn by permission of the trea- under-done. Wiggins lays down the surer, is not unvaried.
On the con- law on the opposite side, by an argu. trary, it is adapted to the times and ment tending to prove that the boiled seasons of the year, as well as to the buttock of beef is always over-done. temper of the students at the several Spriggins then sums up in the style terms. For example, in winter, roast judicial, enlarging upon the fact, that beef and plum-pudding preponderate, some men like mutton over-done, and winter being the season of severe study; beef under-done, and the contraryin summer, mutton and custard super- that mutton may be either over-done sede the beavier matter, summer being or under-done, but not both together; the season of digestive relaxation. that the same law is applicable to beef Michaelmas term affords the student that beef, when under-done, may, by gravy soup and bouilli; Trinity term, the judicious application of additional on the contrary, replaces these deli. caloric, be doue enough, or even overcacies with the more refrigeratory done, which holds also of mutton ; victual of cold boiled lamb and salad. but that mutton, when over-done, can In like manner, Hilary term is cele- by no culinary process hitherto disbrated for boiled capons and oyster covered, be under-done, the same
The advent of Faster term, law of nature being applicable to beef again, is hailed with rapture as the —that one man likes one thing, and season of returning spring, cabbage, another man likes another thing—that early cauliflowers, and sprouts. The there are cases exactly in point-that baked plum-pudding of winter gives there are two sound maxims of law way to the rhubarb tart of spring, and bearing upon this argument, which he to the gooseberry pie of maturer sum- (Spriggins) takes leave to quote to mer; while, with returning winter, the court, the first being to the effect, baked plum . pudding once again that smokes upon the board. But these
“De gustibus non est disputandum;" delicate and judicious variations of the bill of fare in Lincoln's Inn hall, are and the second not less authoritative so numerous, that I am compelled to to the same effect, “ that what's one leave the subject in despair, trusting man's meat, is another man's poison." that some author of more matured ex- Having delivered this charge, or someperience in legal dietetics may favour thing very like it, in the true judicial the hungry public with a complete fashion of leaving the whole matter catalogue of all the delicacies of the more obfuscated than he found it, season as consumed in Lincoln's Inn Lord Chief Justice Spriggins (that is hall, from time whereof the memory to be) takes a pull at the red-hot port, of man extendeth, not to the contrary. and looks round the Hall with the air
The conversation in our Hall—for of a man who has done a meritorious conversation to a limited extent is per- action! The conversation now mi. mitted-is begun after the first glass grates to port. Duggins is confident of wine, and is continued until after that the wine is not so confounded bad the second, by which time the wine this term, Stiggins will answer for
last term, that it could not have been stone has laid it down, that immemo. worse; while Jiggins wishes he may rial custom carries the force of law, never finger a fee, if next term the with which observation I entirely wine will not be worse than ever it agree, and insinuate that the potatoe
In short, while these gentlemen with-jackets-on party care neither for are drinking the wine, the wine is law nor gospel-- which, there is too getting worse and worse every mouth much reason to fear, is somewhere ful; but when, at last, the last drop about the truth. They boldly assert is drained out of the decanter, the that the pretended economy of the wine is pronounced absolutely not potatoe-with-jackets-on party is all drinkable!
my eye and Mrs Elizabeth MartinThe politics of Lincoln's Inn Hall that plates to peel the potatoes on must deserve our gravest attention. At be bought by the Inn, to which the present, the question of paramount potatoe-with-jackets-on party reply, importance in the hall is the potatoe that plates are cheaper than melted question; and parties are divided pretty butter. The potatoe-with-jackets-off equally into the “ potatoe-with-jack- party hold peeling potatoes in the ets-on” party, and the “potatoe-with- dining-hall to be a filthy practice; to out-jackets-on” party - both parties which the other party reply, that their being equally violent and outrageous, thumbs may be supposed to be cleaner as respectable political parties are in than the thumbs of the scullions--a reduty bound to be.
joinder rebutted by the tart assertion The “ potatoe - with -jackets - on” of the potatoe-with-jackets-off party, party assume the character of innova- that they (the p
jtors, and pretend to call themselves party) don't know whether or not ! reformers—they talk perpetually of Meetings and counter meetings have the “ march of intellect," and are been held-resolutions and counter morally certain that the “ school resolutions have been passed--peti. master is abroad"-of which, as far tions and counter petitions lie everyas the poor man's intellects are con- where for signature by every body cerned, there has not for a long time who can sign, and for signature by been a shadow of doubt; they laugh proxy by every body who cannot at the wisdom of our ancestors, and nobody knows where the potatoe quesaffect to be surprised how any rational tion will end ; and very many quiet, man can suppose that the existence of well-disposed respectable people are our glorious constitution is involved sick of the subject, and have given up in the potatoe-with-jackets-on ques- eating potatoes altogether! tion. They prate of economy too, in Latterly, the peelers, as the potatoeall matters that do not affect the pock- with-jackets-on party is facetiously ets of themselves and their relations- denominated, have become insolent in and draw up documents to prove the the highest degree, in consequence of necessity of a Commission to show the the accession of the Irish party-by saving that will accrue to the Inn if no means an inconsiderable faction in the potatoe-with-jackets-on question is Lincoln's Inn Hall. This party, undercarried, in the manual labour now re- standing the potatoe question as it quired for peeling the potatoes, and does, was considered of great importin the melted butter at present de- ance to the potatoe-with-jackets-on manded to make the potatoes go down! party, and its adhesion to their prinIn fact, the potatoe-with-jackets-on ciples is considered the . precursor" party, upon this and all other occa- of complete success. Indeed it is sions, have proved themselves neither obscurely whispered throughout the more nor less than talking potatoes. Hall, that the Marchioness of Nor
The potatoe with-jackets-off party manby, prime minister, has had a are of a different stamp—they talk draft of a bill for the settlement of the little, but they think the more—they potatoe question carried into Buckvenerate the wisdom of our ancestors, ingham Palace by one of the pages of and are devotedly attached to our glo- the back-stairs that her ladyship, rious Constitution—they assert that with the other stipendiary ladies of potatoes-with-jackets-off have been in the back-stairs, have considered the consumption within our Hall, from time matter favourably, and are shortly exwhereof the memory of man extendeth, pected to give their more than royal not to the contrary—they say Black- assent; while the he-fellows who are
held in their places by the petticoat gressive. The profession “goes astrings of these high-minded damsels, head” marvellously. We ourselves have already, we understand, received recollect many great and important orders to spare “no expense" on the changes. We are full of experience, potatoe question, and to hold them and looked up to as a high authority selves in readiness to conciliate the in the Hall of Lincoln's Inn. We re. paramount Irish party by the imme. member several epochs in the gastrodiate settlement of the long-movted nomic history of the bar—about fivepotatoe-with-jackets-on question, as and-twenty years ago we were not also, in the next session, if possible, to quite grey-we held one brief—and agree to a repeal of the Legislative we had no wine in Lincoln's Inn Hall! Union !
It seems as if it were only yesterday! We do not intend, in this place, to Then came, we recollect, the epoch of enter at large into the antiquities of the bottle-seven years exactly after, I the several Inns of Court, my learned arrived at the dignity of the cucumber! friend, Counsellor O’Rubbishy, being I can safely hazard my reputation as a at present up to the ears in cobwebs lawyer upon the fact, which I here give and black-letter upon that very sub- as my professional opinion, that from ject, to which the learned gentleman that time to the present the wine has intends to prefix a dissertation upon got worse and worse every term ; and the origin of eating and drinking in that, if worse could now by any possigeneral, and of legal eating and drinke bility be had for love or money, we ing in particular; also, in the appen- should be required to swallow it. dix, to give a minute account of the my early days, when the world lay all original cating-house on Mutton Hill, smiling before me, as Tommy Moore where the learned gentleman and my- has it, and I looked upon Lord Eldon self dine in vacation, to which will be as only a venerable old gentleman airadded, observations tending to throw ing my chair, we dined off pewter platlight upon the personal identity of the ters_helped ourselves to gravy with first lawyer, who, saving your reve- iron spoons, that imparted to all our rence, is credibly understood to be dishes a high chalybeate flavour-stuck neither more nor less than Old Clootyour several knives promiscuously into himself! I only mention what Coun- the saltcellar, and suspended our “ki. sellor OʻRubbishy means to do in this baubs” of impregnable mutton upon biplace, as we put a specification into pronged forks. Since that time we have the Patent Office to secure an exclusive gained a point-our forks are now triright—that is to say, to prevent, in the dents-our iron spoons, by some alchecase of the learned gentleman, needy mical process, are transmuted into pewscribblers in trashy periodicals from ter, and our pewterplatters are replaced doing by him as they have done (God by hydrographic (only think of the perforgive them !) by me-taking the fectibility of crockery) by hydrograbread out of my mouth, and leaving phic plates! About this time turnip me, by the theft of an original idea, radishes were introduced into our hall, minus a dinner ! I don't so much mind and in Hilary Term 1801, we arrived a man stealing an idea, if he knows at the epoch of cheese ! Up to Tri. how to work it up decently, but I do nity Term 1830, the profession drank solemnly protest against my morocco their beer from a mug—I have heard being cut out by a brogue.maker- before now of tea in a mug—but beer and I hereby warn and advise all liten in a mug I never knew till I knew it rary pirates whatsoever, who may in Lincoln's Inn Hall! The epoch of glean from my conversation or other. mug, however, like other memorable wise what they have the effrontery to epochs, passed away, and was succeeded call an original article, that whenever by the epoch of tumblers. About this they throw my lion's hide over their time, too, an important change came asinine shoulders, I will take up the over the spirit of our dreams-pewter title of their stolen original-and, close was discarded-and the students ac. upon the heels of it, write an article of tually appeared in the hall with silver my own head, that will knock them, spoons in their mouths ! as brother Jonathan has it, “into eter- This was the silver agenal smash!"
The law, like all other sublunary " How blest the silver age in early times, matters, is not stationary but pro. When no avenger knew or punish'd crimes !”