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Old woman! old woman! come back, ditty they had been chanting. The
come back! A husband is willing ; no love shalt thou
girl who played the “old woman” was a fine, laughing creature, full of health
and spirits, who created a roar of merri* He open'd her mouth, but nothing he saw ment by the display of the magnificent Save three rotten teeth in her palsied jaw.
shower of golden locks as representing He tore off her cap-there was nought on her head
the three long grey hairs of the miserBut three long grey hairs which had once able victim, and the dazzling set of teeth been red.
which responded to the fangs in her " But he look'd in her coffers, well pleased to
palsied jaw. The laughter was so genubehold
ine that it seemed to obliterate at once Three bushels of silver, of jewels, and gold ! all suspicion of even the seed of that Then the young man return'd her amorous corruption of which the words they had glance,
been singing seemed to imply the And led her forth, tottering, into the dance.
rankest and the foulest crop. " He twirld her about, and toss'd her so While the assembly of little girls, rehigh,
stored for a time to the animal spirits That her petticoats hither and thither did
and exuberance of mirth consistent with fly; While vainly for mercy the old woman their age, was still running in frantic
eagerness to catch the Old Woman and Till, faint and exhausted, she dropp'd bury her out of the ring, I turned away down and died.
to seek a balm to my sickening soul in “ So the young man was freed from all burden
the solitude which existed round the and sorrow :
two parallel enclosures, constructed by She is wedded to-day — to be buried to order of Robespierre in honour of the morrow.
childhood of the Republic; helpless Now a shroud of rich stuff, like her bridal robe, bring,
human nature under every form, parAnd the nails for her coffin, of gold, like the ticularly the weakness of infancy, being
considered the especial care of the na
tion. Some few poorly clad children Pity had been mixed with the pain were grubbing in the dirt round the eninspired by the babies'song in the Petite closure. They were evidently tabooed Provence concerning the “sweet pe- by the juvenile aristocracy of the Parc Dance" of the shepherd girl, but there des Princesses. One of them called out was horror mingled with the disgust I just as I approached, “Come back, Fannow felt. The unconscious energy with fan cheri; you know we are not to play which the dreadful words were uttered, in the Carré when the belles demoiselles the complete abandon with which the are there.” The child, duly warned, relittle maidens-all fashionable as they turned to his grubbing in the mud. I were-led away by the excitement of could not see his face, but that of the the game, skipped and frolicked as gaily mother I shall never forget. She was as children of the roture, formed to my sitting crouched up on the stone edge mind the only palliative to the poison of the plantation ; upon her knees was which was emanating from those youth spread a sordid jacket she was mending. ful lips. It was evident that Nature She raised her hand, armed with the had resumed her right (she is always on scissors she was using, towards the Parc the watch for the opportunity), and had des Princesses, while a deadly scowl created a momentary oblivion of high- overspread her countenance; and the heeled boots and Pompadour poufs, of expression gave assurance that the feelthe Abbé de Villar's perfections, and the ing of hate and envy which animated Abbé Fauvel's deficiencies.
the soul of Theroigne de Méricourt is It must be confessed there was a total still kept alive amongst the women of absence of all appreciation of the cruelty the working classes of Paris. and immorality contained in the odious I leaned over the wire trellis which
No. 146.- VOL. XXV.
encloses the amphitheatre dedicated to the childhood of the Republic, and gazed first with delight upon the two exquisitely sculptured figures represent. ing Atalanta and Hippomenes running their race, then looked earnestly at the marble steps of the hemicycle where Robespierre had once distributed with so much unctuous zeal the rewards of virtue and innocence to the offspring of Liberty. I fixed my gaze so earnestly on the place where he had stood, that I almost fancied I could behold him still standing there, and could imagine that amid the whispering of the holly leaves and ivy with which the fence is thickly planted, I could hear the small nasal tones of his shrill feminine voice, as, raising to heaven the bough of laurel he carried in his hand, he thus spoke to the assembled people in the name of the children of their adoption : - “ The youth of a great nation should grow up in ignorance of all distinction save that of VIRTUE. Therefore it is decreed that from this day forth”-here the laurel bough was flourished high above the powdered perruque—“that Childhood, to whatever class it may belong, shall become the common care of the Republic. All children must be educated in common. The rich must be made to pay for the poor. Every act of virtue is to be rewarded. Let us leave individual wealth to tyrants. Glory alone should be the wealth of a Republic. The nation that knows how to honour true greatness will never be wanting in great actions nor in great
men. But real glory is inseparable from virtue, and virtue therefore must be taught to all alike."
The speech has been preserved, but the sentiments have vanished. I must unconsciously have been repeating the highflown rhetoric of the great Robespierre aloud, for it could not have been the echo of my thoughts alone which saluted my ear in a cold laugh close beside me. I turned and beheld the long, thin figure of the gentleman who had been seated next to me under the chestnut trees. The ronde of the “Old Woman" had begun again, and the harsh tones of the juvenile singers reached us even through the thickness of the leafy wall against which we were standing. "The man was right !” he exclaimed abruptly, as he pointed to the empty space at the top of the marble steps where the thin spare form of Robespierre, with the laurel branch in his hand and the usual nosegay at his button-hole, had stood on the memorable occasion of the Feast of Childhood. I did not answer, but placed my hands to my ears to shut out the horrid sounds which rose higher and higher as the “Old Woman” was whirled her giddy round; and as I walked towards the gate I sought in vain a solution to the great problem which had been enacting thus before me. I had beheld the germ, the bud, the blossom,--and trembled sorely to think what must be the flower and the fruit when fully ripened and developed in the hotbed amid which they had been so strangely planted.
BY ALBERT VENN DICEY.
A BARRISTER is a member of what is one ever asks whether the lecturer has supposed to be a learned profession. anything to teach our friend, and still He is in virtue of his status entitled to less if our friend has learnt anything of important privileges, for he alone is what he might have been taught. Many allowed to plead for others in the of the lecturers are men of eminent Superior Courts of Westminster; he is ability and command the attention of not responsible to his clients for inca- their classes; but it occasionally happens pacity or negligence; he is alone eligible that the reader cannot be heard for the to appointments of great emolument hubbub made by his students, and that and responsibility in this country and the only thing studied by the latter is in the colonies. By what steps, then, the contents of the Times or of Punch. does a young man gain the assumed “Reading in chambers ” again may, no learning and the certain privileges of a doubt, be, and often is, a means of barrister? The answer is simple. He serious and profitable work; but it may achieves this end by eating or affecting be nothing of the sort. A. man who to eat a score or so of bad dinners, and goes to chambers in order to qualify for paying in the shape of fees and other- the bar needs a certificate that he has wise from between £100 to £250. No “read" there for a year, but he needs doubt many lawyers do more before nothing more. As barristers and pleaders they are called than “ eat their terms" are always men of nice and tender conand pay fees; but the present inquiry science, we cannot conceive it possible is, What are the necessary qualifications for a student to receive a certificate for becoming a barrister? and the answer without having at least occasionally already given affords in few words the shown his face within the rooms of his true reply. To show that this is so, teacher; but it is not the custom for a let us suppose the case (of course, a very barrister to do more than give his pupils rare one) of a man who hates study but an opportunity of working ; what they wishes to be called,” The course he read, or whether they read at all, is well will pursue is as follows. He will get understood not to be his affair. A himself entered at one of the Inns of person, therefore, who becomes a barCourt. He will take care, for this is rister on the strength. of “reading in essential, to eat his due number of chambers for a year,” may indeed have dinners at the Inn to which he belongs. read through Coke or Stephen, but he He will in addition to this do one of may quite as likely have qualified himtwo things, according to his taste or self for advocacy by devoted study of the state of his purse: he will either Trollope, Dickens, or the Sporting Life. attend a certain number of lectures, or Our friend may, therefore, attend leche will “read” in the chambers of a tures, or “read in chambers," without barrister or pleader. A layman may the least strain on his intellectual faculsuppose that either lectures or “read- ties. In the one case he has spent ing" must of necessity teach our ima- about twenty-four hours in a manner as ginary “student” some law. No sup- dull as it is profitless; in the other position is more ill-founded. It is he has paid away a hundred guineas. one thing to attend lectures, and quite When, however, his “terms are eaten” another to attend to the lecturer; no and his lectures or “reading” done, he
is fully qualified for the bar. Let him satisfy a few formalities and pay £100 or so in fees, and he straightway becomes a barrister, endowed with all the learning, dignity, and privileges attached to the position. It is, therefore, no exaggeration to assert that the digestion of dinners and the payment of fees are the sole necessary qualifications for a call to the bar.
The question, What need a law student learn ? suggests the inquiry, What can he learn? The reply to the latter question is scarcely more satisfactory than the answer to the former.
Reading, study, and practice will, no doubt, by degrees, give a knowledge of the law; but the path by which legal learning is attained is a curious and tortuous road which a student finds it a difficult task to follow. Suppose the case of a studious, sensible young man who wants not only to be called to the bar, but to understand the principles of his profession. His first discovery is that though the law may be a science, and is popularly conceived to be (we think erroneously) a particularly difficult science; yet that, speaking roughly, there are no professors or teachers of law in existence from whom he can learn anything worth the knowledge either of a speculative or practical lawyer He further discovers that there is no recognized systematic course of reading which he can be authoritatively recommended to pursue. What he practically does, is, if he has money, to read for a year or two in the chambers of a pleader or barrister, and during that time make himself master of such textbooks as the barrister in whose chambers he reads, or his own judgment, may recommend to his attention. Such a course of study has great advantages; and no one who has read, say, with a really intelligent pleader in full practice will dispute that a man who knows how to use his opportunities gains in chambers a kind of training which is of inestimable value, and ought, if possible, to form a portion of the instruction which every lawyer should receive. But this training in chambers, which consists, in
effect, of making a man learn law by practising it, has inherent defects. Our supposed student when he comes to be called will inevitably have received an education of a fragmentary and unsystematic character. Of the actual practice of one portion of the law,--say, for example, of special pleading,—he knows something (which, it may be added, if he does not immediately get business himself, he is all but certain to forget); of the elements or principles of law he knows nothing, and will not in all human probability even perceive that the law is a mass of rules until he has been what is termed a practising lawyer for at least seven years. If the English bar has at all times been adorned by many eminent lawyers, this is the result of the fact that individuals of speculative talent have refused to practise the rules of their profession without understanding its principles, and have mastered, as barristers, the elementary knowledge which they never gained as students ; but no student has, at any rate of recent years, received a systematic legal education; and the answer to our second inquiry is in effect that a law student can learn fragments of the practice, and may begin to pick up from text writers a disconnected knowledge of the elements of law; but that no man reading for the English bar can obtain a regular course of legal instruction.
The matter, therefore, stands thus:No barrister need know as much law as is contained in the first chapter of Blackstone's Commentaries, and no man can, even if he wishes it, receive systematic instruction, either before or after he becomes a barrister.
This state of things is, to use the mildest term, anomalous, and has at last called into existence an influential body bent on the complete reform of legal education.
This society, the Legal Education Association, is in one respect an extremely remarkable body. It is not composed of speculative innovators, benevolent reformers, or, of what is perhaps the same thing under another name, of brief
less barristers. Sir Roundell Palmer is no tendency to promote the other aim its president; in its ranks are numbered of the reformers. Suppose, on the other the chancellor and many of the judges; hand, that the Society itself were to colamong its supporters may be counted lect funds and pay therewith a body of the most eminent counsel and solicitors professors, who might deliver courses of of the day. The proposals of such an lectures on the various provinces of law association deserve and must command to such students as thought it worth general and respectful attention. Our while to attend and pay the necessary aim in the present article is to consider fees. This step might be open to many carefully the general principles on which disadvantages, but supposing the prothese proposals? (as far as regards educa- fessors to be eminent lawyers, capable of tion for the bar) rest, the reasons by performing their duties, the Association which they may be defended, and, what would undoubtedly have gone very near is at least equally important, the argu- “the establishment of a law university ments by which they may be assailed for the education of students intended
The Association recognizes that the for the profession of the law.” To put two main evils of the present state of the thing shortly, it may be desirable to things are that barristers may be grossly examine, and it may be desirable to teach, ignorant, and that law students are cer- but examination is not instruction, and tainly untaught, and proposes to meet instruction does not imply examination ; both these evils by the foundation of a the distinction is perfectly obvious, but university or school of law.
it is one which is sometimes forgotten, This school is destined to achieve two and which should, in the present case, objects. It is, in the first place, by never be lost sight of, since the argumeans not very clearly pointed out, to ments in favour of one of the objects of secure that every person called to the the Association are not exactly the same bar shall possess a certain minimum of as those in favour of the other; while legal and general knowledge; it is in some of the objections to the compulthe second place to provide systematic sory examination of all persons called to instruction for men who wish to study the bar have no application whatever the principles of law or jurisprudence. to proposals for giving some instruction Both these aims may be equally desirable in law to students who desire to be and equally attainable, but the two ob- instructed. jects are in their nature entirely distinct. The leaders of the Association have Each of them might be pursued sepa- wisely concerned themselves, in the rately, and the attainment of the one by main, with making known the princino means implies the attainment of the ples and objects of the Society, and have other. A resolution, for example, of the left questions of detail for a future day. Inns of Court to call no one who had It is, at any rate, with the principles and not gone through a strict examination, aims only of the Association that the would go far towards placing the admis- public can have any real concern ; for it sion to the bar on what the Association is clear that if once these command somewhat mysteriously describes as “the general assent, the means by which basis of a combined test of collegiate these principles may be applied, or obeducation and examination by a public jects attained, must be settled by skilled board of examiners," but would have lawyers. The general public is, how
ever, fully capable of estimating as well No reference is made in this article to the proposals put forward by the Association with
as either barristers or attorneys, the reference to the education of solicitors, or general
general views of the Society, and the attorneys. These propositions are of great arguments by which they can be defended importance, but cannot fairly be considered or assailed. without entering into the question of the right The first object of the Association is. relation between the two branches of the profession, a subject of great interest, but demand
as has already been pointed out, to ing for a proper treatment a separate article. insure that all persons who practise the