"Anything you choose," replied the lawyer. "Is it my business to make lies for you, do you think? But let her be in praesentia by eight o'clock, as I have said before." The clerk grinned, made his reverence, and exit.
"That's a useful fellow," said the counsellor "I don't believe his match ever carried a process. He'll write to my dictating three nights in the week without sleep, or, what's the same thing, he writes as well and correctly when he's asleep as when he's awake. Then he's such a steady fellow--some of them are always changing their alehouses, so that they have twenty cadies sweating after them, like the bare-headed captains traversing the taverns of East-Cheap in search of Sir John Falstaff. But this is a complete fixture-he has his winter seat by the fire, and his summer seat by the window, in Luckie Wood's, betwixt which seats are his only migrations; there he's to be found at all times when he is off duty. It is my opinion he never puts off his clothes or goes to sleep--sheer ale supports him under everything. It is meat, drink, and clothing, bed, board, and washing."
"And is he always fit for duty upon a sudden turn-out? I should distrust it, considering his quarters."
"Oh, s drink never disturbs him, Colonel; he can write for hours after he cannot speak. I remember being called suddenly to draw an appeal case. I had been dining, and it was Saturday night, and I had ill will to begin to it--however, they got me down to Clerihugh's, and there we sat birling till I had a fair tappit hen, [*See Note VI. Tappit Hen. ] under my belt, and then they persuaded me to draw the paper. Then we had to seek Driver, and it was all that two men could do to bear him in, for, when found, he was, as it happened, both motionless and speechless. But no sooner was his pen put between his fingers, his paper stretched before him, and he heard my voice, than he began to write like a scrivener--and, excepting that we were obliged to have somebody to dip his pen in the ink, for he could not see the standish, I never saw a thing scrolled more handsomely."
"But how did your joint production look the next morning?" said the Colonel.
"Wheugh! capital--not three words required to be altered; [* See Note VII. Convivial Habits of the Scottish Bar. ] it was sent off by that day's post. But you'll come and breakfast with me to-morrow, and hear this woman's examination?"
"Why, your hour is rather early."
"Can't make it later. If I were not on the boards of the Outer House precisely as the nine-hours bell rings, there would be a report that I had got an apoplexy, and I should feel the effects of it all the rest of the session."