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To T—- M—-, Esq.
by [?]

As I sat by the fire, the newspaper read,
And waited for breakfast, my wife being in bed;
It came in my mind that I could not do better
Than to call for some paper, and write you a letter.
‘Tis true I have nothing material to say,
But will mention what incidents fell in my way;
Our leaving Newcastle, and how we got hither,
Half tir’d to death, thro’ wind and foul weather.
I mounted at nine, and set off on my journey,
Along with my brother-in-law the attorney;
Who took with him papers, so many and bulkly,
He found it convenient to ride in his sulky.
We travell’d, and charted, and made ourselves merry,
And who should we meet a few miles from the ferry,
But the great little man : the justice I mean,
Rever’d and belov’d by the swains of Christeen.
You know that at present, however, he labours
Beneath a sad quarrel with one of his neighbours;
And then to Newcastle was going to show
What homage the vulgar to justices owe.
He stopp’d us, and while we stood still in our places,
Related his story, and cited some cases,
To prove how exceeding important the trust is,
And what veneration is due to a justice.

My brother assented, or seem’d to assent,
To all that was urg’d–away then he went,
Whilst we on our journey pursued as before,
Till we came to the ferryman’s house on the shore.
Now this ferryman happen’d to be the vile brute
Who affronted his worship, and rais’d this dispute:
He likewise related his case to the lawyer
In such agitation, he work’d like a sawyer;
Whilst I stood impatient, unable to stir,
For his story was tedious, and caus’d a demur:
At length I exclaim’d–as I am a sinner,
We’ve no time to lose, we shall miss of our dinner:
But the man fully bent to wipe off his attainder,
Stept into the boat, and there told the remainder;
The lawyer assented, or seem’d to assent,
To all that was said-then forward we went.
Nothing afterwards happened that’s worthy relating,
Till arrived at Chester, the place of our bating;
And here we divided, as was our intent;
At Cowpland‘s he stopt, and to Withy‘s I went:
Here the rooms were all full–nought but bustle and rout,
And over-grown booby-heads stalking about;
For this was the time when the lawyers resort,
From all quarters round to attend Chester court:
Attornies and clients here lovingly meet,
The one to be cheated, the other to cheat.

Now dapper lawyers croud each street,
Drest fine to cut a dash;
Saluting ev’ry one they meet,
In hopes of getting cash.

How dost thou friend, ‘twould give me joy
To serve you with my skill;
For if you please, I can destroy,
Or can confirm a will.

Say, has your neighbour’s deed a flaw?
Your title got a wound?
The breach I’ll widen by the law,
By law will make your’s sound.

“A widow, sir, there is opprest,
“And by a wealthy knave;
“Oh! then assist the poor distrest,
“Her all from ruin save;

“Her thanks and pray’rs she’ll freely give,
“’Tis all you can obtain;
“For she hath scarce enough to live,
“And children to maintain.”

“Her case is bad–I can’t defend her–
“Go tell her so from me;
“Besides, my conscience is too tender
“To plead without a fee.

“Sir, sir,” cries another, “you’re gen’rous indeed,
“For the present, I think myself very well fe’ed:
“By what you have said, I can plainly discover;
“If you bring an ejectment you’ll surely recover;
“The law is as plain as the nose on your face;
“I remember lord Raymond has just such a case,

“And what tho’ the tenant hath long held the land,
“I warrant we’ll soon wrest it out of his hand;
“And therefore I think you may safely depend on’t,
“In a very few years we shall oust the defendant.”

Quite tir’d of nonsense, and noisy discourse,
I swallow’d my dinner, and mounted my horse:
But scarce had proceeded a mile on my way,
Before it turn’d out a very foul day;
The wind and the rain met me full in the face,
Yet I travell’d along at a pretty round pace;
Tho’ I button’d up close, and flapp’d down my hat,
I was wet to the skin, like an half-drowned rat.
At length I got home, well pleas’d you may guess,
And by a great fire soon changed my dress.

And now I suppose you may think by this time,
I have teiz’d you enough with my nonsense in rhyme:
Before I conclude-my compliments pay
To fat Mrs R—-d, and to fair Mrs. C—-y;
Remember me too to your neighbour V—–e,
Tho’ grey as a badger, and old as a weazel;
To Mr. V—-h, who leather can tan,
And justice M’W—-m, that good-natur’d man;
To Johnny the barber, who hobbles about,
And takes the best man in the town by the snout.
Thus you see in good time, without any confusion,
My letter is brought to a happy conclusion.