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Full text of "Ballads en termes de la ley (originally written for the exclusive use of the Trinity lawyers) and other verses"

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BALLADS /* 

900 7 
EN TERMES DE LA LEY AW 

(ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE / (f 

OF THE TRINITY LAWYERS) 

AND OTHER VERSES 

BY 
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

SIR WILLIAM REYNELL ANSON 

Bart., D.C.L., F.B.A. 

WARDEN OF ALL SOULS COLLEGE, OXFORD 
l88l TO I9I4 

BURGESS FOR THE UNIVERSITY 
1899 TO I914 

AUTHOR OF ' PRINCIPLES OF THE ENGLISH LAW OF CONTRACT,' 
'LAW AND CUSTOM OF THE CONSTITUTION,' ETC, ETC. 

Born 14 November, 1843 
Died 4 June, 1914 



OXFORD 

PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION BY 

HORACE HART M.A. 






J 



T 
\9\4> 



c t %- 






Pusey House, Faringdon, Berks. 
Dear M^ 75*±*M*- . 

By desire of the beloved writer of these verses, a 

K ft 

recollection of himself was to be given by us, — his 
sisters, — to many of his College, and older, friends. 
We hope this little volume may be a happy reminder 
of his sparkling humour, and his kindly helpfulness ; 
and if it should prove to be an acceptable recollection to 
you, it will, — we are sure, — be one in the giving of 
which he would concur. 

Yours sincerely, 

ELIZABETH G. ANSON. 
FLORENCE H. ANSON. 

December 1914. 



779751 



PREFATORY NOTE 

It is hoped that the few stray leaves of fugitive 
verse by Sir William Anson, here gathered together; 
may serve to recall and bring back to the memory of 
those who knew and loved him well, something of 
the habitual brightness and charm of his companion- 
ship, something of the perennial light and laughter 
that used to play through his daily life, — even through 
his serious work, — as many generations of former 
Trinity Law-pupils can gratefully testify. 

Happy sayings in ordinary conversation are 
naturally ephemeral. They die on the moment, or 
are only half-remembered, to be spoiled later on in 
the re-telling; but happy thoughts, of themselves 
breaking into humorous poetry, may chance to 
endure and come close to their own immortality, 
upborne by an immanent spirit of pure gaiety and 
merriment, or by some characteristic grace of in- 
trinsic levity and truth. 

R. W. RAPER. 

December 1914. 



CONTENTS 



Ballads en Termes de la Ley 
Poems from The Oxford Magazine 
i. A Warning . 

2. A Reply 

3. Our Masters 

4. Nonsense Verses 

Appendix . 



43 
45 
49 
5i 

54 



BALLADS 

EN TERMES BE LA LEY 

[originally written for the exclusive use of the 
Trinity Lawyers] 

If the lawyer, as is prudent; 
Would be something of a student : 
If, despite the scorn of fools, 
He would profit by his Schools : 
Let him not, like nine in ten, 
Read the notes of other men. 
Let him go, where Learning lies, 
To the best authorities, 
And, though oft by labours vext, 
Read his Cases, read his Text. 
What though classes, as they must, 
Fall to the unjust and the just ? 
Let Fate do the worst it can, 
He will be a worthier man. 
Life, so far as we can see, 
Does not end with the Degree. 

I. The Ballad of Negotiable Instruments. 

II. The Ballad of General Offers. 

III. The Ballad of an Honest Belief. 

IV. The Ballad of Collateral Transactions. 
V. The Ballad of Discharge by Breach. 

VI. The Ballad of Sovereigns. 

VII. The Ballad of Subsequent Impossibility. 

VIII. The Ballad of the Infant's Promise to Marry. 

IX. The Ballad of the Trinity Lawyer. 



THE BALLAD OF NEGOTIABLE 
INSTRUMENTS 

The air of this ballad is ' Killaloo '. 
The singer is Mr. Bathurst, the bond fide holder for value. 
The first verse shows how the note Was made i 
A ndthe second verse shows how the note was indorsed, and to whom : 
And the third verse shows how action was brought upon the note, 
and where the burden of proof lay in respect of the matters to 
be proved i 
And the chorus shows the habits and the learning of Trinity men. 

J. 

Ellis made a bet with Havers — 

He maintains, and never wavers, 
That the boat was bound to bump that Monday ; but 

Though the crew was very fast, 

Yet it wasn't made to last, 
And it tired, and was beaten at the Gut. 

Says Ellis, ' Hang the boat, 

Here 's a promissory note x ; 
In a month I'll raise the tenner — yes, with ease. 

1 Note, reader, that the wager is void by 8 and 9 Vict. c. 109, 
s. 18, but the promissory note is not only void, as between 
Messrs. Ellis and Havers (being given in satisfaction of a void 
contract, and so upon no consideration) ; it is given upon an 
unlawful consideration under 5 & 6 Will. IV, c. 41, for the wager 
is of the sort at which the old gaming Acts were directed. This 
will affect subsequent holders in a way which will presently 
appear. 

B 



10 

You'll accept in satisfaction 1 
This convenient chose in action, 
You '11 indorse it, and discount it as you please.' 

For it 's manners very sociable, and conduct irre- 
proachable, and instruments negotiable, 
We learn in Trinitee. 
There 's a marvellous attraction 
About a chose in action 2 : 
It 's quite of course that you indorse — 
And — hang the indorsee. 



Money comes and money goes, 

As Havers shortly knows, 
When he 's betted on his bulldog's pedigree : 

For one must lose and one win 3 , 

So the note 's indorsed to Unwin, 
Who for seven pounds ten indorses it to me. 

1 Note that there is a difference between the taking of a note 
in satisfaction and discharge of a liability, or as a payment 
conditional on the note being honoured. 

1 The words do no doubt bring a flood of agreeable recollec- 
tions to the reader's mind, e.g. the difference between chose in 
action and chose in possession ; the rules of common law, equity 
and statute, as to the assignment of a chose in action ; and the 
difference between what is assignable and what is negotiable. 

* Observe, reader, that in a wager there must be mutual chances 
of gain and loss. If A bets his jockey ^ioo to nothing against 
bis horse, this is an offer of reward to the jockey to use his best 
efforts to win. If A bets X £\oo to nothing that Oxford wins 
the Boat Race in 1897, this * s a promise, made without con- 



II 

And Commem. is drawing near, 
And all sorts of things are dear : 

You must pay me, though you sell your hat and 
coat ; 

For though you know, dear Bobby 1 , 
That I surely wouldn't rob ye, 

I'm an indorsee for value of your note. 

For it 's manners very sociable, and learning unap- 
proachable, on instruments negotiable, 
We get in Trinitee. 
The holder says with pride, he 
Is a holder bond fide : 
Your money 's lost, your note 's indorsed — 
And — bless the indorsee. 



3- 

If the case is to be fought — 
Though it really didn't ought : 
Such litigiousness is far from being nice — 

sideratioD, to pay money on the determination of an uncertain 
event — Semble it might be good if under seal. 

Observe, too, that the bet upon the bulldog's pedigree is merely 
void under 8 & 9 Vict. c. 109, but until the note reaches Mr. 
Bathurst no consideration has been given for it that the law 
would recognise. 

1 It is presumed that under this name Mr. Ellis is referred to, 
and that he was so called as being the representative of law and 
order in a lawless and disorderly generation. They err who 
regard the narrative as describing an incident in the career of 
the learned Professor of Latin. 



12 

You'll call upon me, shall you, 
To show I've given value * ? 

You can do it, and I '11 prove it in a trice ; 
And I'm much too old a stager 
To know aught about the wager, 

So it doesn't count where parties are remote 2 . 
Show a jury that I knew it — 
I '11 be hanged it you can do it ! 

I 'm a bond fide holder of your note 3 . 

For it 's manners very sociable, and conduct irre- 
proachable, and instruments negotiable, 
That we learn in Trinitee. 
Nothing grander, nothing bolder, 
Than the bond fide holder : 
Thus bets are lost and notes indorsed — 
And — three cheers for the indorsee. 

1 Mr. Ellis sets up the unlawful consideration for which the 
note was originally made. The holder must then show that he 
gave consideration for it, and this, the reader will see, he can 
readily do. 

* Immediate parties to a bill or note are parties in direct rela- 
tion with each other as drawer and payee, indorser and indorsee. 
Remote parties are parties between whom other holders inter- 
vene, as drawer and indorsee. Mr. E. and Mr. B. are remote 
parties. 

* If the maker of the note could show that the indorsee took 
it with notice of its unlawful origin, he could defeat the claims 
of the indorsee although consideration had been given. In this 
case the indorsee took care not to know too much. 



II 

THE BALLAD OF GENERAL OFFERS. 

The case is Carlill v. The Carbolic Smoke Ball Co., (1892) 2 Q.B. 
434. (1893) 1 Q.B. (C.A.) 269. 

The air is ' Miss Myrtle is going to marry, 

What a number of hearts she will break.' 

I. 

Mrs. Carlill is bringing her action, The 

And the Company surely must break ; 
Yet the jurist may feel satisfaction, 

Such a fine leading case it will make. 
It's a case that quite bristles with points, 

With points that excite and enthral, 
For she's a litigious woman, 

And it 's a Carbolic Smoke Ball ; 
Oh, she's a litigious woman, 

And it's a Carbolic Smoke Ball. 



52. 

To those who may catch influenza The 

Is offered a clear hundred pounds, 
And minds such as average men's are, 

Believed it on adequate grounds ; 
For the Company offered to pay, 

And the offer was open to all, 



14 

If thrice every day for a fortnight 
You smelt the Carbolic Smoke Ball ; 

If thrice every day for a fortnight 
You have smelt the Carbolic Smoke Ball. 



3- 
The Mrs. Carlill has sniffed the Carbolic 
tance!" Smoke Ball — nasty thing — thrice a day ; 
Fits, neuralgia, the gout and the colic, 

To such pains would be simply child's play. 
And yet, after all's said and done, 
Influenza has held her in thrall ; 
So — here 's the litigious woman, 

And there 's the Carbolic Smoke Ball ; 
So — here 's the litigious woman, 
And there's the Carbolic Smoke Ball. 



4- 
The They say that such pacta are nuda, 

Defence 

(a) Nu- ' They say it in face of the facts, 
tum, oT" (Though the lady may not be a prude, ah ! 
of consld- 'Tis shocking to talk of nude pacts,) 
eration. -p ov the Company stated their terms. 

Can they say that the detriment's small, 
When thrice every day for a fortnight, 

She has smelt their revolting Smoke Ball ? 
When thrice every day for a fortnight, 
She has smelt their disgusting Smoke Ball ? 



15 

5- 
They deny 'twas a serious offer, The 

They say 'twas a joke or a puff ; (fef-fhe 6 ' 

Yet how can the Company proffer °SJ rwas 

For defence such incredible stuff ? S e usly 

For they'd put money by in the bank, 

As they said, to assure honest folk. 
Then don't ask a litigious woman 

To connive at a practical joke ; 
No, don't ask a litigious woman 

To smile at a practical joke. 

6. 

They say that one ought to give notice The 

When one takes the vile dose every day ; SfwEt 

Well, here— and it 's easy to quote— is $ ™£° e _ 

The language of Bowen, LJ. tance - 

Such offers you well may accept 

By performance, and then you can call 
For the hundred pound payment that 's promised, 

If you 're ill when you 've smelt the Smoke Ball ; 
For the hundred pound payment that 's promised, 

If you 're ill when you 've smelt the Smoke Ball. 

7- 
Now these points are sufficient to stump any L-'Envoi. 

But Trinity jurists, and these 
Will render best thanks to the Company 

For providing such aids to degrees ; 






i6 



For such cases stick fast in the mind, 
And come swiftly to memory's call. 

So— bless the litigious woman, 
And bless the Carbolic Smoke Ball ; 

Aye, bless the litigious woman, 
And bless the Carbolic Smoke Ball. 






I 



III 

THE BALLAD OF AN HONEST BELIEF 

Peek v. Derry, 37 Ch. D. 541. 
Derry v. Peek, 14 App. Ca. 347. 
With apologies to Mr. Rudyard Kipling and to 'Fuzzy Wuzzy '. 

I. 

I've rummaged up and down the Law Reports, 

I've studied volumes short and volumes tall, 
And cases, both in contracts and in Torts, 

But Peek v. Derry fairly beats them all. 
Derry certainly was party to a lie, 

But he honestly believed it to be true. 
That's his statement. We may doubt it, you 
and I ; 

Mr. Justice Stirling takes a different view. 

Then here's to you, Peek and Derry, and particularly 
Peek, 

A tougher, stouter, litigant you might go far to seek ; 

The Appeal Court 's given him judgement, philo- 
sophical and broad, 

And made a new departure in our views of ' legal 
fraud.* 

c 



i8 

2. 

You may take your pigs to market, and may sell, 

If you're silent, typhoid-stricken though they 
be 1 ; 
In prospectuses the truth you needn't tell 

To a shareholder who 's not an allottee 2 . 
Thomas couldn't out of Horsfall get redress, 

For deceit that never managed to deceive 3 ; 
But, Derry, you're peculiar, I should guess — 

In what you say you honestly believe. 

Then here 's to you, Peek and Derry, and particularly 

Derry. 
Do I think you are an honest man ? well, no, perhaps 

not very. 
You 're defeated in the Appeal Court, but you 're 

rather bad to beat, 
There 's the House of Lords, to give a definition of 

Deceit 4 . 

1 Ward v. Hobbs, 3 Q.B.D. 150, 4 App. Ca. 14. Fraud must 
be a representation of fact. 

* Peek v. Gurney, L. R. 6 H.L. 377. A false statement, to 
be actionable, must be made to the party injured, or if not made 
to him directly must be made with knowledge that he will act 
upon it. If you hold out alluring visions of wealth, in a pros- 
pectus which invites applications for an allotment of shares in 
your bubble company, you are liable to the allottees, but not 
to those who purchase their shares of them. The fool once 
removed is a fool without a remedy. Contrast Langridge v. Levy, 
2 M. & W. 519. » 1 H. & C. 90. 

* You are liable in damages where you mislead people to 
their hurt under the following circumstances : — 

o. If you make a promise or statement which forms a term 



19 

3- 

Lords Justices say Equity relieves, 

And damages must injury repair, 
If a falsehood that one utters, and believes 

One might penetrate with reasonable care. 
Such an utterance the equitable mind 

Calls ' deceit,' or, more politely, * legal fraud ' ; 
And the scientific jurist is inclined 

To sympathise and modestly applaud. 

Then here's to you jolly jurists, Pollock, Bigelow, 
and Holmes \ 

in a contract, and you cannot make it good. Then you are liable 
for Breach of Contract. 

/}. If you make a statement which you know to be false, or 
if you say that you are certain when you are not. This is prac- 
tically the same thing, as said the Lord Justice Bowen : ' The 
state of a man's mind is as much a fact as the state of his diges- 
tion.' Then you are liable for Deceit. 

7. If you induce another, however innocently, to believe that 
a certain state of things exists and he acts on such inducement, 
you may be forbidden or estopped from showing that the facts 
were not such as you led him to believe ; and, if such supposed 
facts create a right in him against you, you cannot resist the 
correlative liability. 

This is that rule of evidence known as Estoppel. 

S. There are a few cases, under the Companies Act, the 
Directors' Liability Act, and where a so-called Warranty of 
Authority is given, where innocent misrepresentation makes 
you liable in damages. 

Beyond this, the duty of care in speech exists only in respect 
of the liability to an action for defamation of character. 

1 Law Quarterly Review, V. p. 141, ' Definition of Circum- 

Ivention,' by Melville Bigelow. Ibid. p. 410, ' Derry v. Peek in 
the House of Lords,' by Sir F. Pollock. Holmes on the Common 
r 



20 

What law was or what it might be we may gather 

from your tomes ; 
But history and law reform may leave us all abroad, 
When we ask, as Peek and Derry do, what con- 
stitutes a fraud. 

4- 
The House of Lords sits solemnly severe ; 

Does not leave the issue doubtful for a minute : 
Lord Bramwell is acute, Lord Herschell clear : 

And the scientific jurist isn't in it. 
If knowingly you 're false or inexact 

You must pay to those you injure what is 
meet : 
But if Court or jury find it as a fact 

That you honestly believe — there's no Deceit. 

So here 's to you, my Lords Justices : my sentiment 

accords 
With you, but reason bids me to support the House 

of Lords ; 
And here 's to you, Peek and Derry, and here 's to 

you, Stirling, J., 
And we've heard the last of legal fraud for ever 

and a day. 



IV 

THE BALLAD OF COLLATERAL 
TRANSACTIONS 

Pearce v. Brooks 1 , L. R. I Exch. 213. 
I. 

There 's a case that I think you should know, you 

know, 
Of a coachbuilder, rather so, so — so, so ; 
And an elegant lady, 
Of character shady, 
Who drove in a brougham in the Row, the Row, 
A brougham that she hired for the Row. 

2. 
He sued for the hire of his brougham, his brougham ; 
And she must pay up you assume, assume ; 
But when both are aware 
That things aren't on the square, 
Then for brisk litigation there 's room, there 's room, 
For brisk litigation there 's room. 

1 This is not a pretty story, but there is no better illustration 
of the mode in which a transaction, as innocent, on the face of 
it, as the hire of a carriage, may be affected by unlawful objects 
known to both parties. So, reader, recollect the law : and 
forget the facts, if you will, and the rhymes, if you can. 




22 



From that carriage her trade she would ply, would 

ply. 

And the coachbuilder knew it ; oh, fie ! oh, fie ! 

Guilty objects bespatter all 

Contracts collateral ; 
Case goes for defendant, say I, say I, 
So say Baron Bramwell and I. 




THE BALLAD OF THE DISCHARGE 
OF CONTRACT BY BREACH 

Being an address delivered by Mr. Leslie, in a voice broken 
by yawns, to a small audience, weary yet athirst for knowledge, 
on the eve of the Schools. 

I. 

There are rules about breach of contract which try The dif- 

the legal brain, gg^ 1 

Yet I think I can state them clearly if your patience jf*. and 

will stand the strain ; beauty 

For I 've got it down in my note-book, in characters Leslie's 

fair and large, {£*£ 

' Every breach is a cause of action, though it may 

not be a discharge.' 

2. 

There are independent promises. If you want a inde- 

case, take this 'ere, g*£*. 

And try to grapple with Ware v. Chappell, and the fj£Zh 

troops engaged for Galicia. style, 

Said Ware, ' Oh, where are your promised ships ? ' 

said Chappell, ' Where are your men ? ' 
But the Court said Chappell must do his part and 

bring his cross-action then. 



1 80. 



24 



Crippin, 
L. R. 8 
Q.B. 14. 



Divisible Some promises are divisible. Thus, if you should 

§romises. . ., , 

impson make a slip m 

A single instalment, it 's not a discharge. So Simpson 
caught Crippin trippin'. 

Yet these are mainly questions of fact : if instal- 
ments are fewer and fuller, 
5 h. & n. You mayn't omit any ; see Hoare v. Rennte, or 

7Q.B.D. recently Honck v. Muller. 

92. J 



Condi- 
tions and 
Warran- 
ties. 
Behn v. 
Burness, 
3 B. & S. 
751. 



How 

hard 

they are. 

Bettini v. 

Gye, 

1 Q.B.D. 

183. 



If you treat a statement as vital, you have only your- 
self to thank : 

Like Behn, who said that his ship was ' now in the 
port of Amster ! ' 

Then a breach discharges the promisee, but the con- 
tract 's not at an end, 

By failure or breach of a minor term, such as damages 
well may mend. 

5- 

Mark Gye's reversal about the rehearsal, Bettini's 

small omission ; 
And note how fine is the border-line 'twixt Warranty 

and Condition. 
For the terms are used in a sense confused, and 

tempers short grow shorter, 
As you learn and teach the law about breach, till 

your brain becomes like water. 



* 



25 

6. 
For law is law, and fact is fact, and never the twain And the 

apphca- 

shall meet tionof 

Till the fact is found in the jury box and the law on facV 

the judgement seat l . 
Yet, when facts are found, have we cleared the 

ground ? It is hard for me and you 
To try to glean what the parties mean from what 

they say and do. 

7- 
Now if in the King's Bench I could sit, where Mr. 

Mansfield sat of old, judicial 

And my judgements, and obiter dicta too, were Jjjj" 

precious and prized as gold ; 
Or if, as a Baron, or puisne Judge, I determined 

points like these. 
With Parke in the old Exchequer Court, or Willes 

in the Common Pleas 2 , 

1 Mr. Leslie here states, adapting the lines of a. popular poet, 
what Vaughan, C.J., called the decantatum, or old saw, ' ad 
quaestionem facti non respondeant judices nee ad quaestionem juris 
juratores.' Yet is the old saw not strictly true, for the Chancery 
always decided mixed questions of law and fact with no jury, 
and since the Judicature Act cases may be tried without a jury 
in the Queen's Bench Division. 

1 Note, reader, Mr. Leslie's reference to the Courts before the 
Judicature Act, and to the great Judges of former days. But 
these are gone, as saith the learned poet : 

' Now the Courts that were manifold dwindle 
To divers divisions of one.' 
id this is matter for the student of Constitutional Law. 
D 



26 



He 

desires 
to attain 
to prin- 
ciple ; 



8. 
Some rules of law I would strive to draw from the 

weary maze of fact, 
When a man would sue who had aught to do for 

his part of the broken pact : 
I would ask, ' Has so much been left undone that 

the rest isn't worth the doing ? ' 
Or ' Are you sure it 's a vital term for the breach of 

which you are suing ? ' 



He tries 
to attain 
to it; 



' If so you 're discharged, and may also sue for 
damage — for breach to wit — 

And, if you have paid or rendered aught, on a 
quantum meruit.' 

If the parties' intention remains obscure, though 
closely their words we scan, 

I 'd recur with zest to that valued test, ' the reason- 
able man.' 



10. 
But finds Yet rules are vain, for again and again we are drawn 
Seper- 13 h Y the stubborn stress 

verse. of facts, to appraise ' the little more ' as against 
* the little less.' 
And there beats on the brain this weird refrain, like 

the wave on the ocean's marge, 
' Every breach is a cause of action, but it need not 
be a discharge.' 






VI 
THE BALLAD OF SOVEREIGNS 

Mighell v. The Sultan of Johore (1894), L. R. I Q.B. 149 ». 

I. 

List ye, damosels unwary, 

To Miss Mighell's sad quandary, 

And of marriage vows be chary, 

When you learn her hapless fate. 
How the gallant Albert Baker 
To his home and heart would take her, 
Vowed he never would forsake her 

When they'd entered married state. 

2. 
For he offered, if she'd try it, 
Modest lodging, simple diet, 
And a trousseau, neat and quiet, 
Nought of gewgaws or of gems. 

1 This ballad records the deceitfulness of princes. The Sultan 
of Johore sought and won the affections of Miss Mighell, under 
the false name of Albert Baker, and she accepted his offer to 
marry her, as the offer of an eligible subject of the Queen. Then 
he disclosed himself as an independent sovereign, and broke his 
promise. And the tale tells how she, poor soul, lost lover and 
lawsuit, and how hard it is to deal with a sovereign prince in 
a Court of Law. 



28 

Said they'd live to heaven knows what age 
Upon lentil soup and pottage, 
In a rose-environed cottage 
On the Solent or the Thames. 

3- 

So the heavens smiled above her 
Till she happened to discover 
She 'd a monarch for her lover, 

Like the beggar maid of yore. 
And to add to her distresses 
She must share his chaste caresses 
With the other Sultanesses 

Of his kingdom of Johore. 

4- 
But worse was yet to follow, 
For her Albert's vows proved hollow. 
Love 's a migrant like the swallow, 

And we know what Sultans are. 
Then although she brought her action 
All that came of that transaction 
Was a modest satisfaction 

To the members of the bar. 

5- 
What said Esher ? what said Kay, L. 
J. ? 'A Judith or a Jael 
In the days of old Israel 
Might have made this Sultan pay. 



29 

But Sovereigns have immunity 1 , 
Break contracts with impunity, 
Nor can ladies' importunity 
Move judges of to-day.' 



If you feel a hesitation 

As regards his Sovereign station 

You'll accept the information 

The Colonial Office sends 2 . 
With a Sovereign for defendant, 
Though but quasi-independent 3 , 
Take the warning of a friend and 

Don't expect to get amends. 

1 Our Courts decline to exercise jurisdiction over the person 
of a foreign sovereign or representative of a sovereign State 
though resident in the United Kingdom. The only exception 
to this rule is in the case of a voluntary submission to the juris- 
diction by the sovereign in question. The Sultan did not make 
such submission by living here as Albert Baker. See the Parle- 
ment Beige, L. R. 5, P.D. 197. 

* A communication made to the Court as to the independence 
of Johore, written and signed on behalf of the Secretary of State 
for the Colonies, is to all intents and purposes a message from 
the Queen, and the Courts inquire no further. 

* The Sultan had, by treaty, surrendered the control of his 
foreign relations to Her Majesty's Government. But the Queen 
treats him as a sovereign, and as a sovereign he must therefore 
be treated. 



VII 

THE BALLAD OF SUBSEQUENT 
IMPOSSIBILITY 

Paradine v. Jane (1648), Aleyn, 26. 

I. 

What the parties said. 

Jane refuses his rent to pay. 

' I have no kine, nor corn, nor hay ; 

Rupert the alien came my way, 

Cared not a button 
For rights of property. No, the thief 
Carried my harvest every sheaf, 
Turned my oxen into his beef, 

Sheep into mutton. 

' Fields are ravaged and homestead burned, 
Out of my lands by the alien turned, 
Nought can I pay where nought is earned, 

So I go free.' 
' No,' said Paradine, ' I'm afraid 
I must ask you for rent unpaid : 
No conditions in lease were made. 

Hear Court's decree.' 



31 



2. 

What the Court said. 

' This is no duty by law created, 
Else had vis major the charge abated. 
This is a contract. The terms are stated. 

Nought do they say 
Of risks excepted which loss prevent, 
Nor yet of conditions subsequent. 
Such should be mentioned if such were meant ; 

So Jane must pay.' 

3- 

The rule and its exceptions. 

Thus and well do the Courts decide. 

Make conditions lest ill betide, 

Else by your promise you must abide. 

Yet I'll remind you, 
Where the thing to be dealt with is destroyed l , 
Or Parliament makes your promise void 2 , 

1 This is shown by the case of Taylor v. Caldwell, 3 B. & S. 826. 
A contract for the hire of a music-hall for certain days was dis- 
charged by the destruction of the hall by fire before the time 
for performance came. 

* This is shown by the case of Baily v. de Crespigny, L. R. 
4 Q.B. 180, where the defendant agreed that land adjoining 
a plot which he leased to plaintiff should not be used for 
any but ornamental purposes during the term of the lease. 
A railway company took the land, with Parliamentary powers 
so to do, and built upon it, not ornamentally. 




32 

Or illness shatters the skill employed 1 , 
Contract don't bind you. 

With these exceptions, you can't be heard 

To say that, from things which have since occurred, 

It isn't convenient to keep your word 

Unto the letter. 
And, with this knowledge, I may opine 
That the case of Jane and of Paradine 
Will never be either yours or mine ; 

No ! we know better. 

1 If you engage a pianist whose fingers are crippled with 
rheumatism before the engagement is fulfilled, the contract is 
discharged. See Robinson v. Davison, L. R. 6 Exch. 269. 



VIII 

THE BALLAD OF THE INFANTS' 
RELIEF ACT 

The case is Ditchatn v. Worrall, 5 C.P.D. 410. 
The Act is 37 & 38 Vict. c. 62. 
The air is ' A little peach in an orchard grew — 
Listen to my tale of woe I ' 

I. 

The maid of the vale was fair to view ; 

Hark to the Infant's tale ! 
And she won the heart of a minor who 
Took a leap in the dark, as young men do, 
They do, they do — 

Advice is of no avail. 

Chorus. 
Mankind are a faithless crew, 
'Tis preached in the pulpit and heard in the pew, 
Yet costs and damages may ensue ; 
Hark to the Infant's tale ! 

2. 
He loved her and promised marriage too ; 

Hark to the Infant's tale ! 
ind the years of his infancy passed through 




34 

And he came of age, and he'll always rue, 
He'll rue, he'll rue, 
What he said to the maid of the vale. 



3- 
' On the fifth of June I'll marry you ; ' 

Hark to the Infant's tale ! 
That's what he said, but he wasn't true, 
For he cast his vows to the winds that blew, 
That blew, that blew, 
Far over hill and dale. 



4- 

So he fled without waiting to say ' adieu ' ; 

Hark to the Infant's tale ! 
But the lady hardened her heart to sue, 
For feelings injured and damages due, 
Yes due, yes due, 

On a quite substantial scale. 

5- 
From an infant's promise can rights accrue ? 

Hark to the Infant's tale ! 
For he can't ratify and he didn't renew, 
And the Court must read the Act askew, 
Askew, askew, 
Or the lady will surely fail. 



35 

6. 

Then the Court said ' Pshaw ! ' and the Court said 
' Pooh ! ' 
Hark to the Infant's tale ! 
' To name the day makes a promise new, 
Outside of the Statute, section two, 
§ 2, § 2, 
And the lady must prevail.' 



7- 
Now his fate on himself this young man drew ; 

Hark to the Infant's tale ! 
For he grew not wise as in years he grew, 
And he gave to his promise this novel hue, 
This hue, this hue, 
As he needs must now bewail. 



8. 

Then, infants all, or perhaps a few, 

For I speak to infants male, 
Your young affections you must subdue; 
Or perchance you may love a litigious shrew, 
A shrew, a shrew. 

Like the Infant of my tale 1 . 

1 The following verse, though accepted by some, is undoubtedly 
spurious. Like the apocryphal writings, it may be accepted as 



36 

Chorus. 
Rash vows you should all eschew, 
But stick to a promise, when made, like glue, 
And don't trust blindly to section two, 
But hark to the Infant's tale ! 

an ' example of life and instruction of manners,' but not as an 
authoritative exposition of law and fact. 

Now all this story is perfectly true. 

This tale of an infant's woe ; 
Not like the story of John and Sue, 
Which perhaps Mr. Ellis will sing to you 
(If you ask him nicely and say ' Ah, do, 

Yes do, pray do ') 
In a silver voice and low. 



IX 
THE BALLAD OF THE TRINITY LAWYER 

With acknowledgements to Mr. Rudyaxd Kipling and the ' Young 
British Soldier.' 

I. 

When the Trinity man's introduced to the law, 
His English is crude and his intellect raw, 
And he answers by rote, like a jay or macaw, 

But not like a Trinity lawyer ; 

Not, not, not like a lawyer. 
A lawyer trained in All Souls 1 . 

2. 

But when for a while he's been at it, he sees 
That by thinking his knowledge is mastered with ease, 
And he smiles at the men who take other degrees, 
Smiles like a Trinity lawyer . . . 

3- 

And shortly some useful results come to hand : 
You cease to mask folly with periods grand, 
Or talk big about things that you don't understand, 
But you talk like a Trinity lawyer . . . 

1 Trinity men are instructed in Law, so runs the University 
Calendar, by ' members of the Faculty of Law in All Souls 
College.' It were to be wished that they were always sufficiently 
sensible of this high privilege. 



38 

4- 
To an essay you strive some attraction to lend, 
You arrange your ideas and your sentences mend, 
Till it has a beginning, a middle, an end, 
Clear, neat, and becoming a lawyer . . . 

5- 

Take a case, first you master the dry facts, and thence 

You extract cause of action and ground of defence, 

And you go for the point without talk or pretence, 

And state the results like a lawyer . . . 

6. 
When set down in the Schools with three hours to 

spare, 
At a table in front of your cane-bottomed chair, 
Play up, and sit tight, for the battle is there ; 
So work like a man, and a lawyer . . . 

7- 

And don't be down-hearted, and wish you were dead, 

Or think you 've forgotten whatever you 've read : 

What 's the good of your notes if they 're not in 

your head ? 

Keep cool, and you '11 write like a lawyer . . . 

8. 
When you 're placed in the class-list, don't make it 

a rule 
To disparage your work, and belittle your School, 
And say you read nothing — you weren't such a fool : 
But you read like a sensible lawyer . . . 



39 

9- 
And when the Schools' papers are gone to the flames, 
And Ellis, and Leslie, and Havers, and James, 
Are nothing but photographs — memories — names; 
Passed out of sight like the lawyers, 
Gone, gone, gone like the lawyers, 
Lawyers trained in All Souls. 

10. 
Well, it 's dull for the bird when the nestlings are 

flown ; 
As the stream ripples onward it 's dull for the stone ; 
And it 's dull to be left to your studies, alone ; 
Left by the Trinity lawyers, 
Left, left, left by the lawyers, 
Lawyers trained in All Souls. 

ii. 
Then, you Trinity lawyers, hearts kindly and true, 
May each Michaelmas term bring such others as you ; 
So, good-bye to the old friends, and welcome the 
new. 
'Tis the fate of the resident lawyers, 
Fate, fate, fate of the lawyers, 
Lawyers that live in All Souls. 



POEMS 



FROM THE 
OXFORD MAGAZINE 



A WARNING 

A ddressed to the Editor of the Magazine at a time when social and 
educational topics were dealt with on a scale of some magnitude, 
and in a style of uniform sobriety. 

Mr. Editor, surely some lightness of touch 
Would be not unbecoming your famed Magazine : 

Of lectures and sermons you give us too much ; 
Toynbee Hall gets to pall, and I loathe Bethnal 
Green. 

When I get my testamur, if ever I do, 

And when I'm a B.A., if ever I am, 
I intend, Sir, to edit a rival review, 

Full of learning put lightly, like powder in jam. 

My contributors almost o'erwhelm me, I own ; 

The Vice-Chancellor smiles on my gallant attempt ; 
The Proctors send stories of ' men they have known ', 

And the Psychicists legends of things they have 
dreamt. 

A gay sermonette full of banter and scoff 

Comes from Chichester's Dean 1 , very racy and 
tart; 

Mr. Page sends a leaflet on ' Pulls from the off ' ; 
Miss Broughton a novel, ' A Head and his Heart.' 

1 Dean Burgon. 



44 

I have stories of Sandford and memories of Merton : 
I 've a new comic song — title, ' Got him on toast ' ; 

I've a cryptogram, making it morally certain 
That what we call Gaius was written by Poste. 

Mr. Raper has promised a curious note 
On the lost compositions of writers unknown ; 

And the Boden Professor a tale he once wrote, 
' How I shot the stuffed buffalo sitting, alone ! ' 

There are fine Jingo projects, and Socialist dreams ; 

There are Whig economics supplied me in shoals, 
And the Russell Club send me some excellent 
schemes 

For allotments laid out in the Quad of All Souls. 

Then the Canning and Palmerston furnish reports 
Of the speeches their members are hoping to 
make : 

Norham Gardens, familiar with fashion and courts, 
Sends society gossip that 's certain to take. 

Such a concourse of talent makes rivalry vain : 

Though my warning is friendly, I mean what I 've 

said. 

Ere we meet, Sir, as foes, let me once more remain 

Your respectful, admiring, but firm 

X.Y.Z. 



A REPLY 

[In order to give full point to the ' Reply ' the original letter of 
invitation from Mr. Algernon Dexter is reproduced at length in 
the Appendix, by the kind permission of Q (Sir Arthur Quiller- 
Couch). The letter first appeared in the Oxford Magazine and 
has been reprinted in Echoes from the Oxford Magazine (Oxford 
University Press) and in Green Bays (Methuen & Co.).] 

From Miss Kitty Tremayne to Mr. Algernon Dexter, de- 
clining his invitation to the Encaenia of June 1888, on the ground 
that she proposes to attend the University Extension Summer 
Meeting in the Long Vacation of the same year. 

Dear Algy, 

How could you suppose that 

I care for your silly Commem. 
Every Home Reading Circle well knows that 

Such gaieties are not for them. 
I am bent upon probing life's mystery, 

And I write seven essays a week, 
I read pure mathematics and history, 

And high metaphysics and Greek. 
I care not for balls and flirtations, 

I am dull 'mid frivolity's throng, 
But I pine for quadratic equations 

In the studious repose of the Long. 

I really don't know what you'll say to 
The remarkable progress I 've made : 

Like you I can prattle of Plato, 
Like you I can pilfer from Praed. 




4 6 

I have come to believe in the mission 

Of woman to civilise man ; 
To teach him to know his position, 

And to estimate hers — if he can. 
Perhaps you would rather I'd greet you 

With snatches of music-hall song : 
Ah, I fear I'm not likely to meet you 

In those serious hours of the Long. 

You once said I danced like a fairy, 

Yet are dances but circles and squares, 
And ' quadrata rotundis mutare ' — 

(It is Horace, dear Algy) — who cares ? 
Oh, if squaring the circle were possible ! 

How I 'd work to that end night and day. 
Still, the Infinite may be cognoscible, 

And 'tis rapture to think that it may. 
These, these are the thoughts that come o'er one ; 

These high aspirations belong — 
Not to luncheons and concerts that bore one, 

But — to serious life in the Long. 

From lecture to lecture instructive 

I shall hurry with note-book and pen, 
Mr. Harrison, preacher seductive, 

Will discourse upon eminent men ; 
Dr. Murray will tell how his Dictionary 

May inform generations to come ; 
And a Bishop will talk about Fiction, ere I 

Return to my parish and home. 



47 

Yes, learning would cease to be labour, 
Though I studied the tongue of Hong Kong, 

With a Dean or a Tutor for neighbour 
In my still College rooms in the Long. 

I can gaze at the stars from your towers, 

Till the summer nights pale into dawns ; 
I can wander with Readers in bowers, 

I can walk with Professors on lawns. 
And oh, if from skies unpropitious 

Gentle rain in soft drizzle should fall, 
There are chances of converse delicious, 

THe-ci-tete in the Cloister or Hall. 
There 's a feeling one has towards one's teacher — 

Dear Algy, don't say that it's wrong — 
This communion of souls is a feature 

Of our shy student life in the Long. 

You won't come. You'll be thinking of cricket, 

Or perhaps of lawn-tennis or sport, 
You'll be studying the state of a wicket 

Or measuring the length of a court. 
You'll be watching the stream and the weather, 

With your heart in your flies and your hooks ; 
You will tramp after grouse o'er the heather, 

While at Oxford I toil o'er my books. 
So adieu : I've an essay just set me, 

And 'tis dinner time — there goes the gong ; 
And — dear Algy, you won't quite forget me, 

When I'm reading so hard in the Long ? 




Mr. Algernon Dexter appears to have been so much annoyed by 
the receipt of this letter as to forget alike his scholarship and his 
Praed, and to respond in the fresh and nervous vernacular of the 
Undergraduate of the period. 

Dear Kitty, 

You used to be jolly, 

And I 'd stand a good deal for your sake, 
But, Great Scott ! of all possible folly 

This last folly of yours takes the cake. 
Why, you 'd come up a mere carpet-bagger, 

And though Bishops and Dons boss the show, 
And you think that it 's awfully swagger, 

You would find that it's awfully slow. 
Your friends say you're trying to rile 'em, 

And your enemies snigger and grin ; 
If they run you for Earlswood Asylum, 

By Jingo ! you 'd simply romp in. 
You were always a bit of a dreamer, 

But you're coming it rather too strong, 
And I '11 write you a regular screamer 

If you dare to come up in the Long. 




OUR MASTERS: AN ECLOGUE 

The endowment of Research is an old story i the endowment of the 
Extension Lectures is a modern demand and backed by a louder 
outcry. The resources of the University are insufficient for the 
needs of liberal studies ; but this is no answer, as is shown in the 
following dialogue, to the rapacity of the specialist and the sciolist. 

Researcher. 

I am not such as others are ; 

My worth is hard to rate, 
And you must please to take at par 
My modest estimate. 

For how can you examine those 
Who only know what none else knows ? 
Or — if you choose to put it so — 
What no one else would care to know ? 

Extension Student. 

I 'm very much as others are, 

Perhaps a little more so. 
I don't pursue my studies far, 
For then I find they bore so. 

By each successive teacher shown 
Glimpses half-seen of things half-known ; 
I represent, throughout the land, 
The second-rate at second-hand. 

G 



50 

Researcher. 
My learning's tree bears scanty fruits, 

For I 'm a true Researcher ; 
I find in Letto-Slavic roots 
My intellectual nurture. 

Of these I know, and I alone, 
The little that can e'er be known ; 
Content therewith I stand apart 
From science, literature, and art. 

Extension Student. 
I pass all knowledge in review, 

The subjects don't much matter ; 
I pick up quite enough to do 
For dinner-table chatter. 

A note-book, large and full, contains 
My substitutes for work and brains : 
And I believe with all my soul 
' The half is greater than the whole.' 

Ensemble. 
In this at least we both concur, 

We somehow must be paid for ; 
Curators of the Chest demur, 
But we are what they 're made for. 
Of Letters once esteemed Humane, 
The day has sunk, nor dawns again — 
Quick then — endow us, for you must, 
Extensionist and Dryasdust. 




NONSENSE VERSES 

After Swinburne, Poems and Ballads, i. 1 16. 

If I were what the year is 
And you the Summer Term ; 

Involved and yet unmated 

We might be correlated 

As pewter unto beer is 
Or thrush to early worm : 

If I were what the year is 
And you the Summer Term. 

If you were classic poet, 

And I the humble crib, 
Apart — you'd be neglected, 
And I — not much respected; 
Plato without his Jowett, 

A pen without a nib : 
If you were classic poet, 
And I the humble crib. 

If you were a papyrus, 
And I a palimpsest, 
We'd lurk, assorted oddly, 
In nooks and holes of Bodley, 



52 

Where trippers can't admire us 
And students daren't molest : 

If you were a papyrus, 
And I a palimpsest. 

If you were the Vice-Chancellor, 

And I the poker bore ; 
We'd wend our walks diurnal, 
Half formal, half fraternal, 
Like Gretel and like Hansel, or 

The Heavenly Twins of yore : 
If you were the Vice-Chancellor, 

And I the poker bore. 

If you re-wrote the Digest, 

And I revised the Code, 
We 'd frolic with opinions 
That never were Justinian's, 
And dance, with quip and high jest, 

Down learning's royal road : 
If you re-wrote the Digest, 

And I revised the Code. 

If I could be the whisky, 

And you the soda were, 
'Mid shouts and glasses' jingle 
We 'd sparkle, mix and mingle, 
With Undergraduates frisky, 

Nor here — nor quite all there : 
If I could be the whisky, 

And you the soda were. 



53 

If you, love, were the bonfire. 

And I the College chairs, 
In fire we *d seek sensation 
Of mutual, glad cremation, 
Fire, that seems sunk and gone — fire 

That faintlier — nickering — flares : 
If you, love, were the bonfire, 

And I the College chairs. 




APPENDIX 1 
A LETTER 

Addressed during the Summer Term of 1888 by Mr. Algernon 

Dexter, Scholar of College, Oxford, to his cousin, Miss 

Kitty Tremayne, at Vicarage, Devonshire. 

Dear Kitty, 

At length the Term's ending ; 

I 'm in for my Schools in a week ; 
And the time that at present I'm spending 

On you should be spent upon Greek : 
But I 'm fairly well read in my Plato, 

I'm thoroughly red in the eyes, 
And I've almost forgotten the way to 

Be healthy and wealthy and wise. 
So ' the best of all ways ' — why repeat you 

The verse at 2.30 a.m., 
When I'm stealing an hour to entreat you, 

Dear Kitty, to come to Commem. ? 

Oh come I You shall rustle in satin 
Through halls where Examiners trod : 

Your laughter shall triumph o'er Latin 
In lecture-room, garden and quad. 
1 See p. 45. 




55 

They stand in the silent Sheldonian — 

Our orators, waiting — for you, 
Their style guaranteed Ciceronian, 

Their subject — ' the Ladies in Blue ' : 
The Vice sits arrayed in his scarlet ; 

He's pale, but they say, he dissem- 
-bles by calling his Beadle a ' varlet ' 

Whenever he thinks of Comment. 

There are dances, flirtations at Nuneham, 

Flower-shows, the procession of Eights : 
There's a list stretching usque ad Lunam 

Of concerts and lunches and fites : 
There's the Newdigate, all about ' Gordon ', 

— So sweet, and they say it will scan. 
You shall flirt with a Proctor, a Warden 

Shall run for your shawl and your fan. 
They are sportive as gods broken loose from 

Olympus, and yet very em- 
-inent men. There are plenty to choose from, 

You'll find, if you come to Commem. 

I know your excuses : Red Sorrel 

Has stumbled and broken her knees ; 
Aunt Phoebe thinks waltzing immoral ; 

And ' Algy, you are such a tease ; 
It 's nonsense, of course, but she is strict ' ; 

And little Dick Hodge has the croup ; 
And there's no one to visit your 'district' 

Or make Mother Tettleby's soup. 




56 

Let them cease for a se'nnight to plague you ; 

Oh leave them to manage pro tem. 
With their croups and their soups and their ague, 

Dear Kitty, and come to Commem. 

Don't tell me Papa has lumbago, 

That you haven't a frock fit to wear, 
That the curate ' has notions, and may go 

To lengths if there 's nobody there,' 
That the Squire has ' said things ' to the Vicar, 

And the Vicar ' had words ' with the Squire, 
That the Organist 's taken to liquor, 

And leaves you to manage the choir : 
For Papa must be cured, and the curate 

Coerced, and your gown is a gem ; 
And the moral is — Don't be obdurate, 

Dear Kitty, but come to Commem. 

' My gown ? Though, no doubt, sir, you're clever, 

You'd better leave such things alone. 
Do you think that a frock lasts for ever ? ' 

Dear Kitty, I'll grant you have grown ; 
But I thought of my ' scene ' with McVittie 

That night when he trod on your train 
At the Bachelor's Ball. ' 'Twas a pity,' 

You said, but I knew 'twas Champagne. 
And your gown was enough to compel me 

To fall down and worship its hem — 
{Are ' hems ' wearing ? If not, you shall tell me 

What is, when you come to Commem.) 







57 

Have you thought, since that night, of the Grotto ? 

Of the words whispered under the palms, 
While the minutes flew by and forgot to 

Remind us of Aunt and her qualms ? 
Of the strains of the old Journalisten ? 

Of the rose that I begged from your hair ? 
When you turned, and I saw something glisten — 

Dear Kitty, don't frown ; it was there ! 
But that idiot Delane in the middle 

Bounced in with ' Our dance, I — ahem t ' 
And — the rose you may find in my Liddell 

And Scott when you come to Commem. 

Then, Kitty, let ' yes ' be the answer. 

We'll dance at the 'Varsity Ball, 
And the morning shall find you a dancer 

In Christ Church or Trinity hall. 
And perhaps, when the elders are yawning, 

And rafters grow pale overhead 
With the day, there shall come with its dawning 

Some thought of that sentence unsaid. 
Be it this, be it that — ' / forget,' or 

' Was joking ' — whatever the fem- 
inine fib, you'll have made me your debtor 

And come, — you will come? — to Commem. 



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