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manner of the Judge. He was comparatively
a young man; but I fancied that he displayed
the characteristics of experience. His attention
to the proceedings was unwearied; his
discrimination appeared admirable; and there
was a calm self-possession about him that
bordered upon dignity.

The suitors who attended were of every class
and character. There were professional men,
tradesmen, costermongers, and a peer. Among
the plaintiffs, there were specimens of the
considerate plaintiff, the angry plaintiff, the
cautious plaintiff, the bold-swearing plaintiff,
the energetic plaintiff, the practised plaintiff,
the shrewish (female) plaintiff, the nervous
plaintiff, and the revengeful plaintiff. Each
plaintiff was allowed to state his or her case
in his or her own way, and to call witnesses,
if there were any. When the debt appeared
to be primâ facie proved, the Barrister turned
to the defendant, and perhaps asked him if
he disputed it?

The characteristics of the defendants were
quite as different as the characteristics of the
plaintiffs. There was the factious defendant,
and the defendant upon principlethe stormy
defendant, and the defendant who was timid
the impertinent defendant, and the defendant
who left his case entirely to the Courtthe
defendant who would never pay, and the
defendant who would if he could. The causes
of action I found to be as multifarious as the
parties were diverse. Besides suits by tradespeople
for every description of goods supplied,
there were claims for every sort and kind of
service that can belong to humanity, from the
claim of a monthly nurse, to the claim of the
undertaker's assistant.

In proving these claims the Judge was
strict in insisting that a proper account should
have been delivered; and that the best
evidence should be produced as to the
  correctness of the items. No one could come to the
court and receive a sum of money merely by
swearing that 'Mr. So-and-so owes me so

With regard to defendants, the worst thing
they could do, was to remain away when
summoned to attend. It has often been observed
that those persons about whose dignity there is
any doubt, are the most rigorous in enforcing
its observance. It is with Courts as it is with
men; and as Small Debt Courts are
sometimes apt to be held in some contempt, I
found the Judge here very prompt in his
decision, whenever a defendant did not appear
by self or agent. Take a case in point:—

Barrister (to the Clerk of the Court). Make an
order in favour of the plaintiff.

Plaintiff's Attorney. Your honour will give us
speedy recovery?

Barrister. Will a month do, Mr. Docket?

Plaintiff's Attorney. The defendant is not here
to assign any reason for delay, your honour.

Barrister. Very well: then let him pay in a

I was much struck, in some of the cases, by
a friendly sort of confidence which characterised
some of the proceedings. Here again
the effect in a great measure was attributable
to the Barrister. He seemed to act,—
as indeed he israther as an authorised
arbitrator than as a Judge. He advised
rather than ordered; 'I really think,' he said
to one defendant, 'I really think, Sir, you
have made yourself liable.' 'Do you, Sir?'
said the man, pulling out his purse without
more ado, 'then, Sir, I am sure I will pay.'

It struck me, too, as remarkable, that
though some of the cases were hotly contested,
none of the defeated parties complained of
the decision. In several instances, the parties
even appeared to acquiesce in the propriety
of the verdict.

A Scotch shoeing-smith summoned a man
who, from his appearance, I judged to be a
hard, keen-dealing Yorkshire horse-jobber;
he claimed a sum of money for putting shoes
upon six-and-thirty horses. His claim was
just, but there was an error in his particulars
of demand which vitiated it. The Barrister
took some trouble to point out that in
consequence of this error, even if he gave a decision
in his favour, he should be doing him an
injury. The case was a hard one, and I could
not help regretting that the poor plaintiff
should be non-suited. Did he complain?
Neither by word or action. Folding up his
papers, he said sorrowfully, 'Well, Sir, I
assure you I would not have come here, if it
had not been a just claim.' The Barrister
evidently believed him, for he advised a
compromise, and adjourned the case that the
parties might try to come to terms. But the
defendant would not arrange, and the plaintiff
was driven to elect a non-suit.

The mode of dealing with documentary
evidence afforded me considerable satisfaction.
Private letterssuch as the tender effusions of
faithless loveare not, as in the higher Courts,
thrust, one after the other, into the dirty
face of a grubby-looking witness who was
called to prove the handwriting, sent the
round of the twelve jurymen in the box, and
finally passed to the reporters that they might
copy certain flowery sentences and a few
stanzas from 'Childe Harold,' which the shorthand
writers 'could not catch,' but are handed
up seriatim to the Judge, who looks through
them carefully and then passes them over
without observation for the re-perusal of the
defendant. Not a word transpires, except
such extracts as require comment.

There was a claim against a gentleman for
a butcher's bill. He had the best of all
defences, for he had paid ready money for every
item as it was delivered. The plaintiff was
the younger partner of a butchering firm
which had broken up, leaving him in possession
of the books and his partner in possession
of the credit. The proprietor of the book-
debts proved the order and delivery of certain
joints prior to a certain date, and swore they
had not been paid for. To show his title