On Image, Part 7 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Lawyers"
".. a dark, mouldy, earthy-smelling room with a couple of old wooden chairs, a very loud ticking clock, an almanack, an umbrella stand, a row of hat pegs, bundles of dirty papers, some old boxes and decayed ink bottles of various shapes and sizes."The look of a lawyers office, to Dickens, was bad, but worse was the look of a lawyer:
"Mr Serjeant Snubbin was a lantern-faced, shallow-complexioned man about forty-five or fifty years of age. He had a dull looking boiled eye, his hair was thin and weak, he wore an ill washed and worse tied white neckerchief, and the slovenly style of his dress and his dirty office showed that he was far too much occupied to take any heed of his personal comforts." (Dickens, Pickwick Papers.)Balzac, not to be outdone by Dickens, describes a French lawyer's office:
"The room was a complete picture of a third-rate solicitor's office, with the stained wooden cases, the letter files so old that they had grown beards, the red tape dangling limp and dejected, the pasteboard boxes covered with gambols of mice, the dirty floor, the ceiling yellow with smoke." (Cousin Pons.)And then a lawyer:
"Frasier was small, thin and unwholesome looking; his red face, covered with an eruption, told of tainted blood. A wig pushed back on his head displayed a brick-colored of ominous conformation. One might have thought there was pestilence in the air." (César Birotteau.)And then there are two others which Balzac, just as unflatteringly, describes: Regnault in La Grande Breteche and Desroches in Un Manage de Garçon. First Regnault: "A man tall, slim, dressed in black, hat in hand, who came in like a ram ready to butt his opponent, showing a receding forehead, a small, pointed head and a colorless face of the hue of a glass of dirty water. He wore an old coat much worn at the seams, but he had a diamond in his shirt front and gold rings in his ears." And Desroches: "He use to make me feel that I met a tiger escaped from the Jardin des Plantes. He was lean and red haired, his eyes were the color of Spanish tobacco, and his complexion was harsh. He looked cold and phlegmatic. He was hard upon the widow, pitiless to the orphan, and a terror to his clerks. Learned, crafty, double-faced, honey-tongued and never flying into a passion."
Two short snappers, in respect to the all important image:
- "Nature has written a letter of credit upon some men's faces, which is honoured almost wherever presented." (1859, Thackeray, Virgin. xxi.)
- Abeunt studia in mores - One's usual pursuits pass over into character. (Ovid, 43BC-17AD, Latin lawyer turned poet.)
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