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And legal impudence that few could reach: Such was the quibbling lawyer, such the man Who, hemming thrice,-look'd big-and thus
Splitbrain. My Lord, and Jurors, in this land
of freedom, With honest laws and lawyers, when we need'em; This case must make all loyal subjects wince Who hate a libel, and who love their Prince. What's Satire ?- Why the very worst of crimes, A drawback on the vices of the times; A glass that brings the villain forth to view, And leaves our friends, the Clergy, nought to do! Who, though, poor souls ! they lecture night and
day, Can hardly keep old Lucifer at bay. Suppose a Peer of fashionable life, In some odd whim seduce his neighbour's wife, His youth or noble blood must plead his cause, And shield him from the vengeance of the laws ! Nay, grant him crippled, old, with rev'rend hairs, Pray might not passion seize him unawares ? If he betray'd his friend, what can be said for't? *
Nothing, most learned Serjeant! but a great deal against it!
He must not be condemn'd to lose his Head Fort:
Verax. On upright British Jurors, British Laws, I boldly rest the merits of my cause. Too long has vice been sanction'd by the great, And sapp'd the strong foundations of the state; Too long have subtle pimps and flatt'rers Garble.
Hold ! This mode of pleading, Sir! must be controllid: This strange recrimination sets aloof All due decorum :
But, my Lord, I've proof, Plain downright proof, I hold it in my hand ;Why ev'ry honest Jury in the land Know H-d-t, H-t-d (barring all lampoons), To be sad gamesters, flatt'rers, and buffoons. This never can be libellous I trust, When all the world allows it to be just.
Gar. Yes, grossly libellous, you know it well, And Scandalum magnatum-false as Hell !*. Your client is an universal pest, The rogue
has libell’d Me among the rest ; He says I'm hot, and irritated soon,Yes—when some blockhead puts me out of tune ! That
rage for ever flushes in my cheek: The villain fibs !- no barrister so meek. That guttling Epicurus in his stye, Ne'er gormandiz'd more greedily than I, Which (curse his base assurance !) is a lie. A twelvemonth spent in Newgate, dark and still, Will cure his scribbling vein--or nothing will.
Garble had high authority for his oath. George the Second and the late Chancellor Thurlow were both profane
Queen Elizabeth swore a good round hand; and, by all accounts, her maids of honour could prattle very prettily.
Ver. The man is studious, well-inform’d, though
Split. Henceforth no sprightly Peer can drink
and wench, No Justice fall asleep upon the bench, * No Col’nel pimp, no Priest disgrace his gown, But he shall be placarded through the town! E’en you, my Lord, so eloquent and grave, May chance to grow immortal in a stave, While ev'ry minstrel of the Grub Street Choir Unaw'd, unshackled, can command the lyre.
Gar. As Brother Splitbrain argues-black is
whiteAnd Truth's a lie, and wrong (in Law !) is right. May this bold-fronted libeller of Kings,
* This occurred very recently in the Court of Common Pleas_"Good old Mansfield sometimes nods !"
Who talks of worth, and such discarded things;