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ing for the briefs which never come, they often at once get into practice in the local county courts, and in arbitrations, &c. The tendency of the present age, moreover, clearly is to establish local courts in large towns, and to reserve the law-courts in London as appeal courts for the decision of the points of law which may arise in the local courts. In olden times, when travelling was difficult, there was, no doubt, great convenience in justice being brought, by means of the circuit system, to the very doors of the inhabitants of each county in England. Should local courts, however, be established in all the chief towns of the kingdom, it is far from improbable that a blissful day may arise, even in the lifetime of the present writer, when, in consequence of the total abolition of the circuit system in England, it will not only be unnecessary, but absolutely impossible, for him to go ‘on circuit” any more
A RISING JUNIOR.
MR. PAGE is everywhere spoken of as “a rising junior,'—some people even going so far as to say of him that he is a risen junior. I observed at the last Greenpool assizes that Mr. Page was ‘in' thirty-seven cases out of a cause-list of eighty, which fact sufficiently proves him to be the “leading junior' on my circuit. Considering that he is only thirty-six years of age, and that he has been scarcely eleven years at the Bar, Mr. Page has undoubtedly achieved a great success in his profession. Yet that success is, after all, not to be wondered at. Mr. Page is a man of great natural ability; he has ever since his college days were over been anxious to attain success at the Bar; and he has always had a most powerful ‘backing’ amongst solicitors. Mr. Page has, in truth, never known what it was to be without briefs. His father is the head of the largest firm of solicitors in Greenpool, and upon the very day after that on which young
Page was called to the Bar his first case was sent to him by his father's firm. Page and I were at Greenpool Grammar-school together, and there, as I can personally testify, he was facile princeps. At eighteen he won a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge; at twenty-two he came out fourth wrangler of his year; and at four-and-twenty he won a fellowship at his own college. Before Mr. Page, however, had won his Trinity fellowship he had entered at the Temple. During the whole of his time as a law student, it is not too much to say of him that he ‘scorned delights and lived laborious days.' He worked early and late at the dingy chambers of the special pleader with whom he read ; he marked and annotated cases in the law reports till far on into the night, and till the midnight oil in his student's lamp burned low; yet, notwithstanding all the hard work of the preceding day, he was early next morning at Westminster Hall to hear the arguments in cases in which he (as a pupil) had been engaged ; in short, he fagged unceasingly to master all the technicalities of English law. When therefore he was called to the Bar he was qualified by study and training, as very few of his contemporaries were, to attain that success in his profession which he so ardently desired.
On the very first occasion of his attending Greenpool assizes, three briefs were, through his father's interest, given to him. Now it is undoubtedly true that there are many able men at the Bar who, from lack of interest, have never been able to get a fair start in their profession, and who are therefore, through no fault of their own, briefless barristers; but it is also true that no matter how good a ‘backing' a man may have at the Bar, nothing but merit can enable him to attain a really high position in his profession. No solicitor— however anxious he may be to push a young barrister—can continue to give him briefs unless the young Hopeful in question shows some power of successfully dealing with them. Mr. Page, however, . assuredly had plenty of ability to enable him to make the best use of the chances which his father's position as a leading Solicitor in Greenpool gave him.
Mr. Page, as I have already said, received at the first assizes at Greenpool which he attended three briefs, and year by year since then the number of his clients has been gradually extending, until he now receives more briefs at Greenpool assizes than any other junior counsel; and these briefs, be it observed, do not come to him merely from his father's friends, but from clients who have been attracted to him by his growing reputation at the
Bar. Probably very few junior counsel are now making a larger income than Mr. Page is doing, for he has got into the very best class of practice at the Common Law Bar, viz., into the heavy commercial and shipping cases which are tried at Guildhall, in the city of London, and at Greenpool assizes. In addition to the income which Mr. Page derives from his professional fees he has another source of profit in the persons of some seven pupils, who read with him in his chambers in London. Each of these pupils has paid to Mr. Page a fee of one hundred guineas for the privilege of being allowed for one year to read all the cases which come into Mr. Page's chambers. Mr. Page's “business chambers’ are in Parchment Buildings, Temple, but his “residence chambers’ are in Lamb Court, Temple. In his “residence chambers’ (which are on the third floor of Lamb Court) Mr. Page has lived for the last twelve years. I have been often in them, and I do not think that, during the whole of that space of time, their aspect has altered in the slightest degree. They are very handsomely furnished, and it is a whim of Mr. Page—for like all bachelors he is full of megrims —to replace every article which may chance to be worn out in his chambers by another of precisely F