A young lawyer was once called upon to make his first appearance in a courtroom before the formidable Lord Chief Justice Edward Ellenborough. "My lord, my unfortunate client, my lord," the man stammered, clearly petrified, "my lord, my unfortunate client -- my lord -"
"Go on, sir, go on," Ellenborough interjected. "As far as you have proceeded hitherto, the court is entirely with you."
[This was among Sydney Smith's favorite stories. "How wicked! How cruel!" he once remarked. "It deserves a thousbnd years' punishment at least."]