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Fraser's Scottish Annual
A Judge's Joke


The celebrated Lord Gardenstone once performed on Mr. Crosbie a practical joke of a very humorous nature. His lordship, in the course of a walk from Morningside where he resided, met a rustic going to Edinburgh in order to hear his cause pleaded that forenoon, in which Mr. Crosbie had been retained as counsel. The facetious judge directed the man to procure a dozen or two of farthings at a snuff shop in the grass market, to wrap them separately up in white paper under the disguise of guineas, and to present them, as occasion served, in the capacity of fees. Crosbie not being particularly interested in the case frequently flagged in his eloquence. His treacherous client, however, kept close behind his back, and ever and anon, as he perceived him bringing his voice to a cadence for the purpose of closing the argument, slipped the other farthing into his hand. The repeated application of this silent encouragement so far stimulated Mr. Crosbie in his exertions that he strained every nerve in grateful zeal, and precisely at the fourteenth farthing gained the cause. The denouement of the conspiracy which took place over a bottle of wine with which Mr. Crosbie had treated Lord Gardenstone from the profits of the pleadings can only be imagined.


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