N.B. To the three last items there is an addition of five shillings for a reply, should one be rendered requisite. Mr. Briefless begs to call attention to the fact, that feeling the injustice that is done to the public by the system of refreshers, he will in all cases, where he is retained, take out his refreshers in brandy, rum, gin, ale, or porter.
Injured innocence carefully defended. Oppression and injustice punctually persecuted. A liberal allowance to attorneys and solicitors.
A few old briefs wanted as dummies. Any one having a second-hand coachman’s wig to dispose of may hear of a purchaser.
* * * * *
THE WIFE CATCHERS.
A LEGEND OF MY UNCLE’S BOOTS.
“Ah! sure a pair was never
More justly form’d—”
[Illustration: J]Jack, said my uncle Ned to me one evening, as we sat facing each other, on either side of the old oak table, over which, for the last thirty years, my worthy kinsman’s best stories had been told, “Jack,” said he, “do you remember the pair of yellow-topped boots that hung upon the peg in the hall, before you went to college?”
“Certainly, uncle; they were called by every one, ‘The Wife Catchers.’”
“Well, Jack, many a title has been given more undeservedly—many a rich heiress they were the means of bringing into our family. But they are no more, Jack. I lost the venerated relics just one week after your poor dear aunt departed this life.”
My uncle drew out his bandanna handkerchief and applied it to his eyes; but I cannot be positive to which of the family relics this tribute of affectionate recollection was paid.
“Peace be with their soles!” said I, solemnly. “By what fatal chance did our old friends slip off the peg?”
“Alas!” replied my uncle, “it was a melancholy accident; and as I perceive you take an interest in their fate, I will relate it to you. But first fill your glass, Jack; you need not be afraid of this stuff; it never saw the face of a gauger. Come, no skylights; ’tis as mild as new milk; there’s not a head-ache in a hogshead of it.”
To encourage me by his example, my uncle grasped the huge black case-bottle which stood before him, and began to manufacture a tumbler of punch according to Father Tom’s popular receipt.
Whilst he is engaged in this pleasing task, I will give my readers a pen-and-ink sketch of my respected relative. Fancy a man declining from his fiftieth year, but fresh, vigorous, and with a greenness in his age that might put to the blush some of our modern hotbed-reared youths, with the best of whom he could cross a country on the back of his favourite hunter, Cruiskeen, and when the day’s sport was over, could put a score of them under the aforementioned