: Laws And Lawyers.
Sir John Fielding gave a curious instance in the case of an
Irish fellow who was brought before him when sitting as a magistrate at
Bow-street. He was desired to give some account of himself, and where he
came from. Wishing to pass for an Englishman, he said he came from Chester.
This he pronounced with a very rich brogue, which caught the ears of Sir
John. "Why, were you ever in Chester?" says he. "To be sure I was," said
, "_wasn't I born there?_" "How dare you," said Sir John Fielding, "with
that brogue, which shows that you are an Irishman, pretend to have been
born in Chester?" "I didn't say I was born there, sure; I only asked your
honour whether I was or not."
Thelwall, when on his trial at the Old Bailey for high treason, during the
evidence for the prosecution, wrote the following note, and sent it to his
counsel, Mr. Erskine: "I am determined to plead my cause myself." Mr.
Erskine wrote under it: "If you do, you'll be hang'd:" to which Thelwall
immediately returned this reply: "I'll be hang'd, then, if I do."
Peter the Great, being at Westminster Hall in term time, and seeing
multitudes of people swarming about the courts of law, is reported to have
asked some about him, what all those busy people were, and what they were
about? and being answered, "They are lawyers." "Lawyers!" returned he, with
great vivacity, "why I have but four in my whole kingdom, and I design to
hang two of them as soon as I get home."