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THE BOROUGH.

LETTER VI.

PROFESSIONS-LAW.

Quid leges sine moribus Vanæ proficiunt?

Horace.

Væ! misero mihi, mea nunc facinora
Aperiuntur, clam quæ speravi fore.

Manilius.

Trades and Professions of every Kind to be found in the

Borough-Its Seamen and Soldiers—Law, the Danger of the Subject-Coddrington's Offence-Attorneys increased; their splendid Appearance, how supported—Some worthy Exceptions—Spirit of Litigation, how stirred up—A Boy articled as a Clerk; his Ideas—How this Profession perverts the Judgment-Actions appear through this Medium in a false Light-Success from honest ApplicationArcher a worthy Character-Swallow a Character of different kind-His Origin, Progress, Success, &c.

THE BOROUGH.

LETTER VI.

PROFESSIONS-LAW.

« TRADES and Professions”—these are themes the Muse,
Left to her freedom, would forbear to choose;
But to our Borough they in truth belong,
And we, perforce, must take them in our song.

Be it then known that we can boast of these
In all denominations, ranks, degrees ;
All who our numerous wants through life supply,
Who soothe us sick, attend us when we dié,
Or for the dead their various talents try.
Then have we those who live by secret arts,
By hunting fortunes, and by stealing hearts ;
Or who by nobler means themselves advance ;
Or who subsist by charity and chance.

Say, of our native heroes shall I boast,
Born in our streets, to thunder on our coast,

Our Borough-seamen ? Could the timid Muse
More patriot-ardour in their breasts infuse;
Or could she paint their merit or their skill,
She wants not love, alacrity, or will;
But needless all, that ardour is their own,
And for their deeds, themselves have made them known.

Soldiers in arms! Defenders of our soil !
Who from destruction save us; who from spoil
Protect the sons of peace, who traffic, or who toil ;
Would I could duly praise you; that each deed
Your foes might honour, and your friends might read:
This too is needless; you've imprinted well
Your powers, and told what I should feebly tell :
Beside, a Muse like mine, to satire prone,
Would fail in themes where there is praise alone.
-Law shall I sing, or what to Law belongs ?
Alas! there may be danger in such songs;
A foolish rhyme, 'tis said, a trifling thing,
The law found treason, for it touch'd the king.
But kings have mercy, in these happy times,
Or surely one had suffer'd for his rhymes ;
Our glorious Edwards and our Henrys bold,
So touch'd, had kept the reprobate in hold;
But he escaped, nor fear, thank Heav'n, have I,
Who love my king, for such offence to die.
But I am taught the danger would be much,
If these poor lines should one attorney touch-

(One of those limbs of law who're always here;
The heads come down to guide them twice a year.)
I might not swing indeed, but he in sport
Would whip a rhymer on from court to court;
Stop him in each, and make him pay for all
The long proceedings in that dreaded Hall :-
Then let my numbers flow discreetly on,
Warn'd by the fate of luckless Coddrington*,
Lest some attorney (pardon me the name)
Should wound a poor solicitor for fame.

One man of law in George the Second's reign
Was all our frugal fathers would maintain ;
He too was kept for forms; a man of peace,
To frame a contract, or to draw a lease:
He had a clerk, with whom he used to write
All the day long, with whom he drank at night;
Spare was his visage, moderate his bill,
And he so kind, men doubted of his skill.

Who thinks of this, with some amaezment sees, For one so poor, three flourishing at ease; Nay, one in splendour!—see that mansion tall, That lofty door, the far-resounding hall ; Well-furnish'd rooms, plate shining on the board, Gay liveried lads, and cellar proudly stored :

* The account of Coddrington occurs in “ The Mirrour for Magistrates :" he suffered in the reign of Richard III.

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