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after the outside of your head. The flesh of an ox makes your learned ; the hair of a horse proves the fact to a gaping world. If by nature a barrister is sometimes simple, by act of parliament: he is always gentle. But in case there should be any mistake, he takes a leaf out of the book of that most prudent and sagacious of artists, who wrote under his picture, " This is a Bear ;” and by clapping a mop of whitened hair over his own capillary attractions, triumphantly attests that “ This is a Gentleman.”
Is this, then, the reason why barristers wear wigs? or shall we go further to look for worse ones? Here, in this civilised land of ours, we have a complex system of jurisprudence. So far so good. We have a profession devoted to its interpretation and administration. 'Good again. But why the members of that professionseparating themselves from those of others—why, when clergymen, medical men, artists, authors, merchants, manufacturerswhat you like-clothe themselves according to the conventional usages of society in general, barristers should set up a fashion of their own-a fashion neither more useful nor ornamental than the tatooing of New Zealand, or the ochre-smearing of North America --is a point only to be established by the ingenuity of one of their own tribe, hired to make white black, and the worse the better cause, at so much per hour, Gentlemen, is your learning on the out or the inside of
your skulls ? Does it lie in the region where Samson's strength had its abode ? Are you wiser because hairier?
Of course you regard the questions as very impertinent. Are you sure you know the difference between pertinent and impertinent ? If so, prove it, by sending your gowns to the sign of the Black Doll, and. making over your wigs for hens to lay eggs in.
Again. Now do tell us how it is that the barber and the tailorhelp you in your arguments. Point out to us one reason why a jury cannot be as effectually addressed ; a rule to compute as eloquently moved for ; a respectable witness as completely bullied, or a reprobate of a pickpocket as triumphantly advocated, without a thing like a white-washed crow's nest upon your head, as with that ornament.
We have heard it said " A Barrister wears a distinctive badge ” (the word recalls the cabmen to our minds) “ in order to procure instant admission to the courts in which he practises.' But it so happens that the courts are open to all her Majesty's subjects, just as freely as to those among them who date their
letters from the Temple. It will be rejoined, “ But it is reasonable that the barristers should have the preference, as having business to attend to.” Now, other people have business in court as well as barristers; and it strikes us that plaintiff and defen-, dant have some slight claims to priority over Mr. Briefless, who has lounged as dumb as a flat-fish for ten years over the back benches. Again. Solicitors have something to do with the business in hand. Do they find it necessary to present a order,' in the shape of a tie-wig? Witnesses too, reporters, clerks, and so forth, have a recognised right to enter, and a status in the court ; but do they exhibit their status and their right in abounding horse-hair? The plea, then, that the wig is a useful mark of distinction must be given up.
Let us take other ground. We have heard it urged that wigs were useful in a sanitary point of view ; that their owners, were obliged to be continually rushing through cold draughts, from one hot court to another ; that it would be very inconvenient to carry hats about, seeing that in the squeeze and bustle of a court, learned gentlemen might very frequently, by unlucky accidents, confer the favours on these useful articles which hens do on eggsnamely, sit on them ; and that wigs, being warm, portable, and squeezeable, preserved, without risk to themselves, the learned caputs under them, at a tolerably equal and health-bestowing temperature.
Now, if wigs be classed with comforters, bosom-friends, and bits of flannel, it strikes us, that in order to avert such catastrophes as colds in the head, and so forth, they ought only to be worn in transitu from one court to another. If they keep the wearer warm enough in the chill of Westminster Hall, they must certainly produce the sign and symbol of labour—the “sweat of the brow,” in the court of Queen's Bench; while, if they merely keep up a pleasant temperature within the folds of the dark-green curtain, they must certainly leave the wearer in a teeth-chattering condition when he steps without it.
Taking, however, a non-professional, and therefore common-, sense view of the matter, it strikes us, that if anything was ever pregnant with discomforts to the poor persecuted head, it is the huge bundle of coarse hair placed over its natural covering.. To our eye, as many head-aches lodge in these whity-brown curls as in a bottle of brandy, consumed in an evening, by a formidable continuity of “goes; "--and further, to prove the fact from the
mouth of one of the victims, we beg to direct attention to the following precious piece of worse than tomfoolery, which actually occurred in one of our principal tribunals a week or two agojust as if intended expressly to serve our present purpose :
Court of EXCHEQUER, May 22nd.— Their Lordships entered the Court in full-bottomed wigs; the Queen's Counsel also wore wigs of a similar description.
After their Lordships had gone through the bar the peremptory paper was called on.
Mr. Martin begged to be allowed to mention the case of Stockdale and Benn, and Benn and Stockdale, the learned Counsel having on his ordinary wig at the time.
The Lord Chief Baron—“Mr. Martin, I question whether you are visible to-day.”
Mr. Martin said that he was about to state to their Lordships that he found it a considerable inconvenience to wear the heavy full-bottomed wig.
The Lord Chief Baron—"I fear, Mr. Martin, that you must appear in costume."
Mr. Martin—"I really cannot wear these wigs, my Lord. I am sensible of the ill effects of it for a week after.”
Mr. Baron Alderson—" You should bear the inconvenience, on ac·count of the increased dignity, Mr. Martin.-(A laugh.) It may appear to you a custom more honoured in the breach than in the observance.'
Mr. Martin—"It really does, my Lord.”
Mr. Baron Alderson—“But you cannot appear without having on your marriage garment.”—(A laugh.)
Mr. Chambers said that they had been misled by the Judges in the Queen’s Bench having come into Court in the ordinary small wig.
Mr. Martin here bowed, and retired.
We were about to ask whether the sittings in Banco were held in Bedlam or not; but we beg pardon—we shall - not insult Bedlam by supposing for one moment that such a scene could have occurred among the very maddest of all its mad inmates.
We feel for Martin, unhappy Martin, doomed to headaches of a week's duration—all the misery of dry mornings after wet evenings, and without the fun. Minus the full-bottomed wig, he
invisible," unseen, or only to be seen when like an owl in an ivy bush. The wig was visible but not the counsel“; the wig, then, is the essence and the substance of the counsel. A counsel is a wig, a learned gentleman is a thing made of horse-hair. The heavy facetiousness of the judge is heart-rending. A wig, too,
it seems, is a legal “marriage garment.” Law, it is to be presumed, is the bride. Now, considering the number of learned gentlemen admitted to the state of holy matrimony with that parchment-skinned vixen, it strikes us that the parties run a desperate chance of the penalties for bigamy. But who shall fathom the glorious fictions—who shall reconcile the exquisite anomalies even of metaphorical phrases connected with that riddling, hoaxing man-trap-Law?
A word in earnest to conclude with. The progress of society is manifestly towards conformity of costume ; the advancing democratic spirit is to be seen even in the identical cut of a lord's coat with that of his tailor. The time is going by for ranks and professions to be indicated by attire. The doctor no longer sucks his gold-headed cane ; the apprentice no longer wears his skull-cap. Let barristers move on with the current. Shooting,” as soon as possible, the rubbish of ancient prejudice and medieval quackery, let us see them dressing themselves as common sense and the ordinàry usages of society dictate, and wisely resolving that the appropriate costume for any gentleman who may insist on sticking to the gown and wig, is to be found in a shaved head and a strait waistcoat.
ANGUS B. REACII.
MORE LIGHT FOR ALL.
“ Light ! Lord ! more Light !” cried Göethe as he lay
R. V. HAYDAY.
THE RUINED CITY: A FRAGMENT.
PART I. I was unfaithful to the truth ;-and what has been my punishment?—To wander through many lands and many slow-moving ages, and see the effects of error, and the strivings of the few faithful ones among mankind to overcome the darkness of those wholly ignorant, and the unfaithfulness of those partially illumined. I have seen how one false word has acted through centuries, and brought forth its fruits of battles, confusions, and death. I have seen how the chosen guardians of the lamp of truth have cast a shade over its rays, and left the nations for ages to wander in the gloom. I have seen, indeed, my own error set forth on a large scale, upon the theatre of the world, and I have repented of it, not altogether, I hope, in vain. I have whispered some words of truth in the ears of the people among whom I have sojourned during my long pilgrimage, and my course has not been without some bright days ; for have I not seen even the fruits of my own actions, apparently lost upon one generation of mankind, springing up in another to cheer me with their fragrance? When I have told all that my pilgrimage has taught me-- when I have given to my fellow-men all the lessons which I have learned by marking the progress of their history-when I have established a claim upon their love, and when I feel and know that they will love me for all I have endured for them then I may lay my staff aside, close my journal of many centuries, put off my sandals, breathe my blessing upon mankind--and take my rest! But one labour remains for me now to perform. I must tell my story. But I must hasten over the ground, for it is vast, and there are tracts of it as barren as Sahara. I must hasten through the time, for it is long, and sometimes it has flowed by me dreary and wearisome as an arctic night. My reader must prepare for himself wings to pass with me from land to land, and from age to age. But sometimes I shall find rest and refreshment for him, if he will accompany me on the long journey of reviewing my life, in pleasant and quiet