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Brash Lawyer

As a young lawyer, F. E. Smith once defended a tram company in a case involving a blinded boy. When the judge ordered that the plaintiff be lifted onto a chair to allow the jury to see him better, Smith objected:

"Your Honor," he tartly remarked, "why not pass the boy around the jury box?" The judge rebuked him for his ridiculous suggestion. "Prompted," Smith retorted, "by an equally improper suggestion." "Youth and discretion," the judge then warned, quoting Francis Bacon, "are ill-wedded companions." "My lord," Smith rejoined, "the same Bacon also said that a much-talking judge was like an ill-tuned cymbal." "Now you are being offensive, Mr. Smith," the judge warned. "We both are," Smith said with a nod. "The difference is that I am trying to be, and you can't help it."

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