Great Quotes About Law and Lawyers

Just starting this post; I expect to add to it occasionally.

* * * * *

Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1853, p. 5):

Thus, in the midst of the mud, and at the heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.

“Mr. Tangle,” says the Lord High Chancellor, latterly something restless under the eloquence of that learned gentleman.

“Mlud,” says Mr. Tangle. Mr. Tangle knows more of [the case of] Jarndyce and Jarndyce than anybody. He is famous for it — supposed never to have read anything else since he left school.

“Have you nearly concluded your argument?”

“Mlud, no — variety of points — feel it my duty tsubmit — ludship,” is the reply that slides out of Mr. Tangle.

“Several members of the bar are still to be heard, I believe?” says the Chancellor, with a slight smile.

Eighteen of Mr. Tangle’s learned friends, each armed with a little summary of eighteen hundred sheets, bob up like eighteen hammers in a piano-forte, make eighteen bows, and drop into their eighteen places of obscurity.

* * * * *

Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety (1992, p. 235):

“So then [my family] said, you could be a lawyer, we suppose. Now, I was walking along the street one day, and one of the neighbors said, ‘Oh, look, there’s M. Janvier on his way back from court.’ And he pointed to this lawyer, stupid-looking man with a paunch, trotting along with his evening’s work under his arm. And he said, ‘You work hard, you’ll be like that someday.’ And my heart sank. Oh, I know, that’s a figure of speech – but, do you know, I swear it did, it bunched itself up and thudded into my belly. I thought, no, any hardship – they can put me in gaol – but I don’t want to be like that. Now, of course, he wasn’t that stupid-looking, he had money, he was looked up to, didn’t oppress the poor or anything, and he’d just got married for the second time, to this very nice young woman . . . so why wasn’t I tempted? I might have thought – well, it’s a living, it’s not too bad. But – there you are – steady money, easy life – it’s never quite been enough, has it?”



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