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THE case of "Ross and Davis," from the St.
Alans Assizes, had been on the list for argument,
and its turn had now come round. The judges
were inthe Chief Justice (Bagshawe), the
Lord Chief Baron (Ryder), Barons Ridley and
Mossop, Justices Bond, Woodcock, Cox, &c.
They sat in a long row, in their robes, like the
Roman Conscript Fathers waiting for the Gauls in
the Capitol. The counsel were "in" also,
dabbling among their papers, the great unemployed
waiting behind, cutting the benches, occasionally
whispering, and thus learning the great profession
to which they belonged. Before the case
began, there was a good deal of light gossip on
mundane points of interest.

The court then "sat," and Mr. Bagstock,
rising, began to "open the exceptions" to their
"l'dships," in a low, dreamy, and almost
confidential manner.

The Conscript Fathers, not yet comfortable in
their places, drew in their chairs, whispered, and
smiled to each other, looked abstractedly at the
ceiling, all except a little dried old judge, with
a glass, who kept his eye warily on the counsel,
as though he had been told off specially for this
duty, while the rest took their little délassements.
He had a printed book open before him, up and
down which his sharp eyes travelled quickly,
darting a look at the counsel every now and
again, to see that he was not engaged in some
elaborate scheme for deceiving the court, or in
performing some hocus-pocus with his authorities.
That professional gentleman, however, went
on calmly with his duty, as if he were reading
aloud to himself privately in his own study, and
not at all affected by this universal inattention.
At last, after some twenty minutes or so, when
the counsel was beginning to warm to his
monotony, the Chief Justice began to look down
at his book, asked his neighbour a question, who
laid his finger on a paragraph; and presently,
from a remote judge in the corner, who was
getting interested, or who had misapprehended
the learned gentleman, came a question, like the
first gun before the engagement.

Mr. Tillotson was there, behind his own attorney,
who whispered him, "Did you try again at a
compromise? I see they have got Bidder. He
leads the Queen's Bench by the nose. Can do
what he pleases with the Chief."

"But," said Mr. Tillotson, "where are our
men?" He saw only a void in the front bench,
and a smart junior of no more than two-and-
twenty, scribbling away, but looking every now
and again a little nervously at the door.

"O, by-and-by," said the attorney. "Mr.
Cobham is always late. But I wish we could have
got Bidder. I was only a day too late for him."

Yet it did not seem how Bidderan old man, a
kind of legal fossil, too, who was with difficulty
spitting out his facts, who had a dreadfully
mouldy air, and whose high collars were worn
fearfully at the edges, like a sawcould be such
an acquisition on either side. But Mr. Tillotson
very soon saw what quiet power and superiority
was in his dry, unflagging monotony. Sometimes
a too eager junior judge struck in:

"As it seems to me, Mr. Bidder, your view
goes so far as this: A. writes to B. on family
matters, and among other things says, 'he may
never know what flaws may be discovered in our
title.' Surely you would not contend that
that amounted to a declaration post lis mota."

Other judges nodded, as if to convey that that
view was pressing on their minds, and the Chief
Justice added, " I think my brother judge has
furnished us with a reductio ad absurdum."

Not noticing this interruption, Mr. Bidder
said he was coming to that, and would merely
call their l'dships' attention to the case of Doe
against Rubber, reported inthe—(looking at
the back of the book)—Sixth Common Bench,
in which the point was raised, and I will read
a passage from Lord Bendigo's judgment,
which, I think, bears strongly on the case put
by Mr. Justice Igoe.

This modest statement was more than borne
out by Mr. Bidder. It seemed exactly "in point"
and utterly silenced Mr. Justice Igoe. Then
Mr. Bidder went on the even tenor of his way,
always at the same dead level, neither rising nor
falling, keeping to his straight barren high road
of monotony. He gave casesCommon Bench
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