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equal. Now that all the witnesses for the plaintiff have been examined, and now, too, that the case for the defendants has been fully revealed, Sir Longrobe Bigwig feels himself perfect master of the ‘situation. In his reply he either delicately glosses over or, as he sometimes does, quietly ignores the weak points in his own case, whilst he mercilessly exposes all the shortcomings in that of the defendants. He exhibits too, in full relief, the strong points in his client's case, and in his reply he mainly devotes himself to the driving home' of two or three of these into the minds of the jury.
This he does advisedly, for Sir Longrobe Bigwig's long experience of British juries has taught him that the twelve honest Britons whom he is now addressing will not come to a decision in the case by weighing niceties of evidence whether on the one side or the other, but by reflecting upon two or three salient points in the plaintiff's or in the defendant's cases. It is therefore, as I have just said, to the driving home' of two or three of the strong points in favour of his client, that Sir Longrobe Bigwig, in the course of his reply, mainly devotes himself. These two or three strong points he will repeat more than once to the jury, for his experience in addressing juries has taught him that
an average Briton needs to have a thing repeated to him at least twice before he fully comprehends it. If, however, Sir Longrobe Bigwig were addressing a jury of Frenchmen, you would find that he would not repeat things twice to them, for his instinct would teach him that it was not necessary for him to do so. In the very speech to which we have just been listening, I confess that I thought Sir Longrobe Bigwig repeated himself to somewhat unnecessary extent; but the explanation of his doing so he laughingly gave to his junior, Mr. Page, when he sat down upon the conclusion of his speech. Turning round to Mr. Page, I heard Sir Longrobe Bigwig say to him, 'I dare say, Page, you thought just now that I was repeating myself a good deal, but the fact was I saw that that fat old juryman in the left-hand corner of the box there, hadn't followed me in what I had said about that important point as to the width of the river between the piers at Daleham Bridge ; and so I waited till I could catch his eye, and then I went all over it again for him. He saw the point then, and he's now for us, Page, or I'm very much mistaken !'
Sir Longrobe Bigwig is not mistaken, for not only is the particular juryman in question in favour of the plaintiff, but also the majority of his brethren. Without even leaving the box they at
once return a verdict for the plaintiff, and by so doing add another to the long list of Sir Longrobe Bigwig's forensic triumphs.
From what has now been written, the reader will, I hope, have perceived how different are the duties of the leading counsel in a case from those of the junior counsel. What we have seen Mr. Page do to-day in court has merely been to examine three of the plaintiff's witnesses. All the really difficult work of re-examination, cross-examination, and speechmaking has been performed by Sir Longrobe Bigwig. Yet Mr. Page's duties as junior counsel in the case, though they have not been so publicly performed as have those of Sir Longrobe Bigwig, have been neither few nor slight. I have, however, described the duties of a junior counsel, in a previous article, so that I shall not say anything more about them here.
Sir Longrobe Bigwig, ere the verdict was given in the last case, in which we heard him address the jury, has to rush off to another court, there to argue 'in banc' in a case in which he is retained. Now Sir Longrobe Bigwig, though, as we have just seen, he can manage a case admirably before a jury, is not strong 'in banc.' He is, indeed, by no means a match ‘in banc' for little Mr, Hardhead, against whom he now finds himself pitted. Mr. Hardhead's appearance is very different from that of Sir Longrobe Bigwig. He is small in stature, weak in health, and his voice is shrill and high-pitched. Yet is his mind sharp as a needle ; and in arguing cases 'in banc,'—i. e. cases involving purely legal points, and which are decided by the judges alone,-Mr. Hardhead is as immeasurably superior to Sir Longrobe Bigwig as Sir Longrobe Bigwig is to him in addressing juries.
To begin with, Sir Longrobe Bigwig's imposing a ppearance and pleasant voice—which help him amazingly when he is addressing a jury-do not in the slightest degree assist him in arguing before the four crusty old judges whom he is now addressing. Moreover, as I intimated at the beginning of this article, Sir Longrobe Bigwig has never been by any means strong in his law. He had not, as I have mentioned already, any great practice as a 'junior,' and whatever law he now knows he has picked up since he attained the rank of a Q.C., and began to lead' in cases.
It is true that Mr. Brown, Sir Longrobe Bigwig's junior in the present case, did what he could, when in consultation with him this morning, to 'coach' his eminent leader in the law of the case which Sir Longrobe Bigwig is now engaged in arguing. The fact, however, is that during the whole of the consultation this morning, Sir Longrobe Bigwig's mind was running upon a speech which he intends to deliver to-night in the great debate upon the Cuban question, which is now proceeding in the House of Commons. In point of fact, Sir Longrobe Bigwig has been specially asked by the great Lord Precedent to speak to-night upon this Cuban question. Seeing that Sir Longrobe Bigwig held the post of Solicitor-General in Lord Precedent's late administration, and that if his lordship can only manage to return to power, he is certain to appoint Sir Longrobe Bigwig to the post of Attorney-General, it is clear that that eminent leader had no option but to comply with the wishes of his political chief. During the whole of last night therefore, Sir Longrobe Bigwig was engaged in preparing his speech upon the Cuban question, and,-his mind being naturally still full of it this morning,--he did not pay so much attention as he ought to have done to his junior's remarks made to him in consultation.
By reason of this inattention upon his part, you perceive that Sir Longrobe Bigwig is floundering about terribly in his argument 'in banc'this afternoon. At length he stops short, and suddenly wheeling round to his junior' Mr. Brown, says to him, ‘Brown, you know far more about this case than I do. Will you, like a good fellow, go into it