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A judge once had a case in which the accused man understood only Irish.
An interpreter was accordingly sworn. The prisoner said something to the
"What does he say?" demanded his lordship.
"Nothing, my lord," was the reply.
"How dare you say that when we all heard him? Come on, sir, what was
"My lord," said the interpreter beginning to tremble, "it had nothing to
do with the case."
"If you don't answer I'll commit you, sir!" roared the judge. "Now, what
did he say?"
"Well, my lord, you'll excuse me, but he said, 'Who's that old woman
with the red bed curtain round her, sitting up there?"
At which the court roared.
"And what did you say?" asked the judge, looking a little uncomfortable.
"I said: 'Whist, ye spalpeen! That's the ould boy that's going to hang
A gentleman of color who was brought before a police judge, on a charge
of stealing chickens, pleaded guilty. After sentencing him, the judge
asked how he had managed to steal the chickens when the coop was so near
the owner's house and there was a vicious dog in the yard.
"Hit wouldn't be of no use, Judge," answered the darky, "to try to
'splain dis yer thing to yo' 't all. Ef yo' was to try it, like as not
yo' would get yer hide full o' shot, an' get no chicken, nuther. Ef yo'
wants to engage in any rascality, Judge, yo' better stick to de bench
whar yo' am familiar."--_Mrs. L.F. Clarke_.
Four things belong to a judge: to hear courteously, to answer wisely, to
consider soberly, and to decide impartially.--_Socrates_.
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