Puslapio vaizdai
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CHAPTER XXVII. P. I.

A PASSAGE IN PROCOPIUS IMPROVED.

A STORY CON

CERNING URIM AND THUMMIM ; AND THE ELDER

DANIEL'S OPINION OF THE PROFESSION OF THE LAW.

Here is Domine Picklock My man of Law, sollicits all my causes, Follows my business, makes and compounds my quarrels Between my tenants and me; sows all my strifes And reaps them too, troubles the country for me, And vexes any neighbour that I please.

BEN JONSON.

Among the people who were converted to the Christian faith during the sixth century were two tribes or nations called the Lazi and the Zani. Methinks it had been better if they had been left unconverted; for they have multiplied prodigiously among us, so that between the Lazy Christians and the Zany ones, Christianity has grievously suffered.

It was one of the Zany tribe whom Guy once heard explaining to his congregation what was meant by Urim and Thummim, and in technical phrase improving the text. Urim and Thummim, he said, were two precious stones, or rather stones above all price, the Hebrew names of which have been interpreted to signify Light and Perfection, or Doctrine and Judgement, (which Luther prefers in his Bible, and in which some of the northern versions, have followed him) or the Shining and the Perfect, or Manifestation and Truth, the words in the original being capable of any or all of these significations. They were set in the High Priest's breast-plate of judgement: and when he consulted them upon any special occasion to discover the will of God, they displayed an extraordinary brilliancy if the matter which was referred to this trial were pleasing to the Lord Jehovah, but they gave no lustre if it were disapproved. “My Brethren," said the Preacher, “ this is what learned Expositors, Jewish and Christian, tell me concern

ing these two precious stones. The stones themselves are lost. But, my Christian Brethren, we need them not, for we have a surer means of consulting and discovering the will of God; and still it is by Urim and Thummim if we alter only a single letter in one of those mysterious words. Take your Bible, my Bre

. thren; use him and thumb him-use him and thumb him well, and you will discover the will of God as surely as ever the High Priest did by the stones in his breast-plate!"

What Daniel saw of the Lazi, and what he heard of the Zani, prevented him from ever forming a wish to educate his son for a North country cure, which would have been all the

preferment that lay within his view. And yet if any person to whose judgement he deferred had reminded him that Bishop Latimer had risen from as humble an origin, it might have awakened in him a feeling of ambition for the boy, not inconsistent with his own philosophy.

But no suggestions could ever have induced Daniel to chuse for him the profession of the Law. The very name of Lawyer was to him a

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word of evil acceptation. Montaigne has a pleasant story of a little boy who when his mother had lost a lawsuit which he had always heard her speak of as a perpetual cause of trouble, ran up to him in great glee to tell him of the loss as a matter for congratulation and joy; the poor child thought it was like losing a cough, or any other bodily ailment. Daniel entertained the same sort of opinion concerning all legal proceedings. He knew that laws were necessary evils; but he thought they were much greater evils than there was any necessity that they should be; and believing this to be occasioned by those who were engaged in the trade of administering them, he looked upon lawyers as the greatest pests in the country

Because, their end being merely avarice,
Winds up their wits to such a nimble strain
As helps to blind the Judge, not give him eyes.*

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He had once been in the Courts at Lancaster, having been called upon as witness in a civil suit, and the manner in which he was cross examined there by one of those “ young spruce

* LORD BROOKE.

Lawyers," whom Donne has so happily characterized as being

"all impudence and tongue" had confirmed him in this prejudice. What he saw of the proceedings that day induced him to agree with Beaumont and Fletcher, that

Justice was a Cheese-monger, a mere cheese-monger,
Weighed nothing to the world but mites and maggots
And a main stink ; Law, like a horse-courser,
Her rules and precepts hung with gauds and ribbands,
And pampered up to cozen him that bought her,

When she herself was hackney, lame and founder'd.* His was too simple and sincere an understanding to admire in any other sense than that of wondering at them.

Men of that large profession that can speak
To every cause, and things mere contraries,
Till they are hoarse again, yet all be law!
That with most quick agility can turn
And re-turn; can make knots and undo them,
Give forked counsel, take provoking gold
On either hand, and put it up. These men
He knew would thrive ;-+

but far was he from wishing that a son of his should thrive by such a perversion of his in* WOMAN PLEASED.

+ BEN JONSON.

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