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Lane on a command night, tumbles in, the table of the Benchers, remains upsetting the unfortunate porter who there, while three solemn knocks with opens the gate, the old woman who a hammer, after the fashion of the serves the students with gowns, and Cock-Lane ghost, announce his pretwo or three rash under-waiters who sence. Grace is said with becoming happen to be lingering near the spot solemnity; and it is proper to remark, - the hall is filled in the twinkling of that grace is pronounced by the prea bed-post! And now an internal sent reader in a tone and manner that scene of confusion is being enacted in give to this usually unimportant ceretaking places; that operation being mony an air, if not devotional, at least performed, by seizing upon as many reverend and impressive. Loud is the plates as you can lay hold of with noise of the company, one and all re. your fingers, toes, or teeth, and turn- suming their places—tremendous the ing them bottom upwards, by which clangour of knives, forks, and spoons you acquire the right of next presen- the serious professional business of tation to all such places so secured, the day may be truly said to have for as many of the mob of your ac- commenced here at least there are quaintance as may happen to come none briefless—all are engaged in the late, and also have the pleasure of ob cause-and every learned gentleman serving gentlemen of decency and feel confronts his equally learned friend on ing, who do not appertain to the mob, the opposite side. retire from the hall, unable to procure While the profession is thus worthplaces in consequence of your success. ily employed, let the disinterested ful monopoly. It wants now but a reader walk with me through the venerquarter to five; and the barristers of able dome, and regard the several obtwenty years' standing, who have ar. jects of attraction therein contained, rived at the dignity of the cucumber, which the noise and racket prevent me come dropping in, one after another, pointing out. At the top of the hall, and proceed with becoming gravity to exactly over the centre of the Benchers' the upper end of the hall, where they table, which extends crosswise from begin to open oysters, throwing away east to west, is the Chancellor's chair the shells to the right and left, after that chair to which the ambition of eating the fish with judicial impartial- every eater and drinker within the ity. It is five o'clock-the mob of body of the hall is laudably directed. students are all decorated with gowns Over this post of honour is placed, - the barristers all radiant in their curiously enough, the escutcheon of a patent wigs-the talking is fearful, man who occupied it once, and is by no and the opening of oysters proceeds means likely to occupy it once again, with alarming velocity—there cannot the egotistical, physico-theological, at this moment be fewer than fifteen melo-dramatical, Tomkinso-political, hundredembryo Lord High Chancellors bombasto-logical schoolmasterin the hall. Suddenlya gentleman-usher
“As peevish, tart, and splenetic, appears at the upper extremity of the
As dog distract or monkey sick." hall, and proclaims with a loud voice“ BENCHERS,GENTLEMEN_ BENCHERS, To the right of the schoolmaster is GENTLEMEN— IF YOU PLEase.” A placed the armorial ensign of that upcrimson curtain is now withdrawn, and right judge and excellent man, Lord in single file a long array of elderly Denman; to the right of this the es. apoplectic gentlemen, with faces as cutcheon of the Lord Lyndhurst; and crimson as the curtain itself, enter the to the left of the Chancellor's chair are apartment, and bowing profoundly emblazoned the family arms of the Viceas they pass to the barristers and Chancellor Sir Lancelot Shadwell, of students, who bow profoundly to the the present Lord High Chancellor Benchers in return, pass on to their (Cottenham), and of that able and places at the table allotted to them, learned Parliamentary lawyer, the where they seat themselves, not in the Right Honourable Charles Watkin order of professional rank, but by se- Williams Wynn. niority, as Benchers of the Inn. The Immediately over these arises a ca. chaplain, or reader of the Inn, now nopy of fretted oak, curiously carved, leaves the table of the barristers, where and worthily sustaining an admirable his place is, and, going to the top of picture of Paul before Festus, from
the pencil of the inimitable Hogarth,' The reader will by this time, no who, to the honour of the Benchers be doubt, have observed that the hall of it spoken, was invited by them to din. Lincoln's Inn is, to use the phrase of ner on the occasion of this picture the proprietor of the Spread Eagle in being raised to its present elevation the City Road, an eating-room of “the the only instance on record, I believe, nattiest magnificence and genteelest of a gentleman of another profession splendour,' every way worthy of the than the law being the guest of the astonishing amount of “ ating and of Benchers, if we except Canping the drinking" that is enacted within its statesman, King Charles the Second, hallowed walls. It is not the wallsJames Duke of York, and Killigrew it is not the roof-though the rouf, let the joker, who were jointly and seve- me observe, in spite of its dirty little rally entertained at the expense of lantern that lets in any thing but light, this Inn. This great but little-known is a fine thing in its way-it is not its work of a very great man, is perhaps emblazoned windows, with their dim the noblest ornament of the hall, unless religious light, nor its oaken panels the admirers of the sister art of sculp. inscribed with the names of learned ture are disposed to prefer to it the lawyers and lucky dogs, who got on statue of Erskine, which embellishes because their fathers got on before the further extremity of the room, and them-nor its splendid statue of Lord which gives a lively idea not only of Erskine, nor the still more splendid the features, but of the fire, of that picture of Paul before Festus-it is splendid speaker. Round the hall, in not these that raise my mind to a sort various panels of the wainscoting of reverential, awe-struck, elevatedwherewith it is encircled, are embla. subdued, how came-you. so, come. zoned the bearings, and inscribed the tumble-me feeling, with which I am names, of distinguished members of ever oppressed, particularly after dinthe Inn, from the earliest periods to ner, in the venerable hall-it is the the present time, among which will be association of ideas--the identifications found the talented founders of many of the place with the important pur. of our now most aristocratic families pose to which the place is applied in the land, many of our greatest the mingling of the pleasures of mejudges, and, though last not least, the mory with the pleasures of hope-of names of Perceval and Pitt. A lofty the remembrances of the eating and oaken screen, grotesquely carved, en- drinking past, with the prospects of i he closes the hall at the lower end, and eating and drinking to come-this it is contains, within recessed panels, the that makes the hall of Lincoln's Inn royal arms, subscribed with the ini- classic ground, that confers upon it all tials C. R., together with the escutch- its real dignity and all its indisputable eons of the distinguished, witty, and glory. When left alone with a heel. jocular persons who formed the royal tap of the red-hot port in the deserted party on the occasion above referred hall (for I generally sit the profession 10, a minute account of all the ceremo- out, having, to tell the honest truth, nies attendant upon which I would nothing better to do), imagination here feel it my duty to bestow upon usurps the throne of reason, and fills the patient reader, if I did not consider with her gay but ephemeral creations that the spectacle of the then Benchers the over-heated brain; roast legs and of the Honourable Society of Lincoln's shoulders of mutton dance fantastically Inn, crawling upon their knees before through the hall; fried soles, with their royal and jocular guests, and the shrimp-sauce, swim in mid-air; and honourable treasurer presenting, upon the ornaments of the concave ceiling his marrow-bones, a basin and towel, represent so many pigeon-pies. with other base and disgusting pros- os trations then and there enacted, would
“ Is this a mackerel that I see before me?" rather redound to the dishonour of the It must be so-a live baked mackerel, Inn than to its credit, and so defeat the and on its fins and gills are gouts ofonly end I have in view in this enquiry; parsley and butter..-“ Beg pardon, to wit, the honour and glory of the sir, but 'tis time to shut up the hall !" law, and of all and singular the hon- observes an odious waiter, rousing me ourable members of that most honour from a delicious reverie ; so, starting able, not to say useful, profession, up, I stare the waiter in the face, throw myself into a theatrical attitude, alas, how transient is the excitement! rub both eyes with both thumbs (as The eating soon is over; for, as men they do at Drury Lane), and, exclaim- eat in Lincoln's Inn Hall, unless they ing with a wave of my dexter mawley, were created on the principle of cer
tain molluscous animals, in whom “ 'Tis no such thing !”
the stomach and the whole body are whip off my gown, throw my wig at
only one and the same thing, how the the astounded waiter, and cut like fury
devil do you think it could be other. out of the deserted hall.
wise? The eating is soon, too soon, Deserted, did I say? Worshipful o
over-the things to be eaten are all reader, I plead guilty, and request you
eaten up-and is for the drinking, will do me the favour to fine me five
that is come and gone like a tlash of shillings for being drunk. The hall,
lightning. The fifth butler has put 80 far from being deserted, is as full as
the decanter on the table, the decana tick - tremendous the clangour of
ter was full a second ago, and it is now knife, fork, and spoon—the tingling of
as empty and as fragrant as Nurglasses is musical. The loud and con
manby's head; and as for the winetinual buzz, every body talking and
did I say wine-
" fuit vinum"nobody listening, is as the voise of "'Tis like the snow-flakes on the river, rushing waters afar off. Now and
A moment wine, then gone for ever,” then a loud uproarious laugh-not the loud laugh that speaks the vacant
with hardly the ceremony of “ wine mind-but that sort of delighted chuckle
with you," -a ceremony that is perthat issues from the gills of a crammed
formed in Lincoln's Inn Hall with an turkey, rises high above the intermin.
air of vulgar hauteur, and a sulky able clatter, like the break of the tenth
affectation of gentility, that changes wave on an Atlantic shore. As the
the red-hut port from blazes to vine. dinner approaches to completion, and
gar! I say nothing of the quality of the guests to repletion, the clatter be
the wive, it wine that can properly he comes more clattering, the laughter be
called which is an adınixture of bad comes louder and inore robustious—the
brandy, logwood water, and tincture
of kino, fifty per cent over proof, and gathering of the class-plates, dishes, knives, forks, and spoons—the rush of
certainly liable to the brandy duty; waiters hurrying with velocipede ve
I say nothing of this, becalise I like Jocity in opposite directions, gulping
my wine to be stiff if it be scanty ; the heel-taps at full speed—the jing
and for the benefit of Johnny-Raws, ling of beer-glasses upon trays the
whose throats are unseasoned to swalrattle of knife-boxes, crammed, like
Jowing of liquid fire, there is a pump those that used their contents, to suffo
(gratis) with an iron ladle attached, cation, make altogether a veritable
in the Inn-yard; but, good Lord, sirs ! confusion of noises, articulate and in
the quantity- that's the thing makes articulate-a confusion that Babel me cry murder—nor am I at all sur
prised that, on the evening of the day could not hold a candle to; for, if it did, the confusion would put it out!
made memorable by the coronation How exciting is the noble emulation
of our gracious Queen, when the
Benchers of generous youth, contending thus, be not for fame, fortune, a mistress, a "- out of their great bounty, place, a pension, or any of those low Built a bridge at the expense of the and vulgar incentives to ordinary am
county;" bition-10--but for that one great,
or, what is the same thing, gave the one indispensable, one all-absorbing
students a feed out of the funds of the and paramount necessity—the neces
Inn,- a certain profane wag, who sity that keeps the peasant to his spade,
shall be nameless, when giving out a the tar to his tiller, the waggoner to
verse of the National Anthem, which his team, the miner to his pit, the dog
he was solicited to lead in a solo, took to his truck, the donkey to his cart, the
that opportunity of stating our grievsweep to his chimney.top, and me to
ances as to the modicum of port, in my pen— the necessity of having, at least once in the four-and-twenty hours,
manner and form following that is a bellyful !
to sayHow exciting, I say, is all this pro. “ Happy and glorious fessional eating and drinking ; buty Three half-pints among four of us,
Heaven send no more of us,
ness of the day is over ; while at LinGod 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 pewprogress 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 furt." 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 spectacle and 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 exclu. for 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 cook can 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 furthat 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 auother'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 pick pocket, until there illustrious men than all the other Inns is good evidence to the contrary. In of Court, put them all together. Per. the 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 1! 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 Dennan here considered an indirect attempt to inter alios), with equal dignity and make your neighbour's acquaintance, reputation have occupied—the last. which he very properly resents by named excellent judge and most worstaring you vacantly in the face, and thy man still occupies—the Chief Jus. suspiciously buttoning up his breeches tice scat 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
in the Church; and though last, not
least in public regard, by Lonsdale. 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.
and Puisne Barons of the Exchequer, The consequences of this meagre
and Justices of the King's Bench, course of study may be easily pre
our list is interminable, extending far dicted and the fact is well ascertained that the Middle Temple has given to
into the gloom of remote antiquity.
To what, then, is this galaxy to the world fewer great men, and these
talent owing — this constellation of at longer intervals, than any of the other Inns of Court. How indeed
eminent men--this firmament of the
stars of the legal profession, that overcould it be otherwise ? What profes
arches the venerable hall of Lincoln's sional 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
our bill of fare--it depends upon the imbibe fromgriskins? To the Benchers of the Middle Temple I would say, in
grub-it is the natural and legitimate the language of— Blackstone I think
consequence of what Doctor O'Toole,
that high authority in educational matit was
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 de. lenten in the style of its professional serving of more minute consideration instruction—the daily routine in that we proceed to a description of the hall consisting of, for the first course, bill of fare. potatoes boiled with butter-milk
s Roast beef second course, of potatoes roasted with
Flum pudding. butter-milk-and third course, of pota
į Roast leg of mutton toes boiled and roasted also with but
Custard pudding. ter-milk.
I Boiled beef On Sundays the students pay atten
College pudding. ion to bullock's liver fried, with tripe
Boiled mackerel and onions- while on Grand Day, out Wednesdays, Roast shoulder of of respect for the memory of the im.