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his own, providing that he be “specially retained' to do so. Being specially retained, means, that the man, if he be a Q.C., has a fee of three hundred guineas upon his brief; and if he be a junior'that is, not a Q.C.-he must have a fee of fifty guineas marked on his brief. If the man, also, who is specially retained be a Q.C., then another Q:C. belonging to the circuit upon which the case is tried must also be retained with him. By bar custom, any man who has filled, or is filling, the office of Her Majesty's Attorney or Solicitor General never goes circuit unless he be specially retained to do so. In the case, therefore, of a man who has gone, say, the Western circuit for his whole life, has obtained the lead upon it, and afterwards holds, perhaps for a few months only, the office of Solicitor-General, it is a serious deprivation to him to be for ever after deprived of the right of going his own circuit. Upon the other hand, he can, of course, comfort himself with the thought, that any man who has filled the office of Solicitor-General is certain to be, sooner or later, made a judge.

The other circuit rules are almost too numerous for me to mention. Here, however, are a few of them. No barrister must enter an assize town before the commission-day-the object of this rule (which is a rational one) being to prevent any

barrister 'bagging' a lot of briefs by making an earlier start than his neighbours. No barrister must dine with an attorney (unless he be a relation) whilst on circuit; and Lord Eldon declared, that in his day it was a high crime and misdemeanour for a barrister, whilst on circuit, even to dance with an attorney's daughter at the assize ball! I think, however, that this rule is now so far relaxed, that there is nothing to prevent Mr. Briefless requesting the honour of Miss Redtape's hand in the next set of Lancers-providing that she be young and pretty. If old and ugly, I need scarcely say that the most sinister motives would be imputed to Mr. Briefless by his professional brethren. No barrister-and this rule, of course, applies everywhere as well as on circuit-must 'tout' for business, or, in fact, ask for business in any way from an attorney. It is needless, however, for me to say that there are always well-meaning friends of Mr. Briefless whose friendship for him exceeds their prudence, and who will ask old Mr. Redtape, or Messrs. Quirk, Gammon, and Snap to give young Mr. Briefless a brief in that heavy case (which is set down for hearing at the next Dullboro' assizes) of Tompkins v. the Dean and Chapter of Dullboro'. It is also, I hope, quite needless for me to say that such unprofessional conduct upon the part of his friends fills the breast of Mr. Briefless (when he hears of it) with the most poignant regret. No words of his can express his annoyance that his friends will do this sort of thing for him ;' and the satisfaction with which he beholds the inscription upon his brief, Mr. Briefless 15 guās. Conson i guā. with you Mr. Quirk, Q.C.,' is even dimmed by the recollection of the manner in which the brief was obtained for him !

Upon my circuit another curious rule is, that no one must carry a bag for his briefs into court unless it be a red one; and that no one must purchase a red bag, but must wait till a Q.C. presents him with one. The theory of this, of course, is, that the Q.C., observing that the rising junior has more briefs than he can well carry about with him in his hands, takes an opportunity of expressing to him his pleasure at the sight, and presents him with a red bag to carry them in. Upon some circuits, I believe, men who are not lucky enough to possess red bags are allowed to carry blue ones into court in place of them ; but such conduct upon my circuit would be visited by a fine of one guinea for each offence, which sum would go to the mess wine-fund. No Q.C. ever goes sessions after obtaining his silk gown, unless he be specially retained to do so; and no Q.C. ever travels circuit without being accom

pays them.

panied by his clerk. In the old coaching-days, no barrister whilst on circuit was allowed to travel by the public coach—he was obliged either to ride on horseback or in a postchaise. Now-a-days, whilst on circuit every barrister must travel first-class. As I have said already, if a barrister chose to remain outside the mess of his circuit, he could break one or all of these rules. I know, however, of no instance in which a man has attempted to do so. That exclusion from the circuit mess is regarded as a serious matter, is proved by the fact, that although the mess fees are somewhat heavy, still every barrister, no matter how poor he may be,

How far the surveillance which the circuit mess exercises over its members is a benefit or an evil, goes beyond my present purpose to discuss. It is noteworthy, however, that, upon my own circuit at all events, the clerks who accompany their masters round circuit have a mess of their own, and that many similarly stringent rules to those of their masters have been devised by them, disobedience to which is punished by expulsion from their mess.

Every circuit in England annually appoints two of its members to be its Attorney-General and Solicitor-General. Some circuits also possess officers whose duties may be known by the titles which

or SO.

they bear, namely, 'Poet Laureate' and `Master of the Revels.' Once or twice during each circuit, what is termed 'Grand Court'takes place. What passes at Grand Court I am forbidden to reveal by a ceremonial observance so awful in its nature that the fabled red-hot poker of our friends the Freemasons literally 'pales its ineffectual fires' before what I went through before being permitted to attend Grand Court upon my circuit. Each Circuit court has its records, which are carefully kept, and which extend back for the last two hundred years

The names of some of the most eminent judges in the land are to be found in the records of my circuit in connection with circuit jokes and pranks which, if I felt myself at liberty to revealwhich I do not—would cause my readers no little amusement, and those eminent judges no small dismay.

The other towns upon my circuit, besides Dullboro', are Wastford, Daleham, Hitterton, Greenpool, and Hammerham. In each of these towns the judges are received with similar ceremonies to those which I have described at Dullboro'. The business at Dullboro' is always small, and is almost invariably concluded within the four days allotted to it. Wastford and Daleham are two small towns at which we don't stay more than three days each;

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