The Lawyer

Mr Vignoles

Professions will abuse each other,
The priest won’t call the lawyer brother,
While he in kind beknaves the parson,
And says he came to keep the farce on;
Yet will I readily suppose,
They are not truly bitter foes,
But only have their pleasant jokes,
And banter just like other folks.
As thus, for so they quit the law,
Once on a time th’ attorney flaw,
A man, to tell you as the fact is,
Of vast chicane, of course of practice
But what profession can we trace
Where some will not the corps disgrace
A notice had to quit the world
And from his desk at length was hurl’d
Observe I pray the plain narration
Twas in a hot & long vacation
Where time he had but no assistance
Tho great from Courts of Law the distance
To reach the Courts of Truth & Justice
(Where I confess my only trust is)
Tho’ here below a learned pleader
Shows talents worthy of a leader
Yet must he his own fame support
Be sometimes witty with the court
Or work the passions of a jury
With tender strains or full of fury
Misleads them all tho’ twelve apostles
While with new law the judge he jostles
And makes them all give up their pow’rs
To speeches of at least three hours.
But we have left our little man
And wandered from our purpos’d plan
Tis said without ill-natured leaven
That rarely Lawyers get to heaven
It surely is by slow degrees
(Perhaps tis slow they take their fees)
The case I now fairly state
Yet Flaw crept slyly to the heavenly gate
And gently knock’d, none did it neater
The gate was opened by Saint Peter
Who look’d astonish’d when he saw
All black, our little man of law,
But charity was Peter’s guide,
For having once himself denied
His master, he would no o’er pass
The penitent of any class,
Yet never having heard there entered
A lawyer, nay no one that ventured
So near the realms of peace and love
He told him mildly to remove,
And would have clos’d the gate of day,
Had not old Flaw in suppliant way,
’Tis said without ill-natured leaven
That lawyers rarely get to heaven
And that the court of truth and justice
To reach (in which our surest trust is)
In barrister or special pleader
Shews talents worthy of a leader
Yet Flaw, the case I fairly state
Continued to reach the heavenly gate
And gently knock’d none did it neater
Demuring at so hard a fate
Begg’d but a look tho’ thro’ the gate
St Peter rather off his guard
Unwilling to be thought too hard
Open’d the gate to let him peep in
What did the lawyer? did he creep in?
Or dash at once to take possession?
Oh no, he knew his own profession
He took his hat off with respect
And would no gentle means neglect
But finding it was all in vain
For him admittance to obtain
Thought it were best let come what will
To gain admittance by his skill
So while St Peter stood aside
To let the gates be opened wide
He shimm’d his hat with all his strength
Wither the gate, to no small length
St Peter stared the lawyer ask’d him
“Only to fetch his hat” and passed him
But when he reach’d the jack he’d thrown
Oh! then was all the lawyer shown
He clapp’d it on and, arms akimbo
As if he’d been the gallant Bembo,
Cried out what think you of my plan
Eject me Peter if you can.

A New Correspondent