Monday, February 06, 2012

Charles Dickens' Jaundiced View of Lawyers


 "TUESDAY is the bicentenary of the birth, in Portsmouth, England, of Charles Dickens, literature’s greatest humanist. We can rejoice that so many of the evils he assailed with his beautiful, ferocious quill — dismal debtors’ prisons, barefoot urchin labor, an indifferent nobility — have happily been reformed into oblivion. But one form of wickedness he decried haunts us still, proud and unrepentant: the lawyer.

"Lawyers appear in 11 of his 15 novels. Some of them even resemble humans. Uriah Heep ('David Copperfield') is a red-eyed cadaver whose 'lank forefinger,' while he reads, makes 'clammy tracks along the page ... like a snail.' Mr. Vholes ('Bleak House'), 'so eager, so bloodless and gaunt,' is 'always looking at the client, as if he were making a lingering meal of him with his eyes.' Most lawyers infest dimly lighted, moldy offices 'like maggots in nuts.' ... "

Source:Joseph Tartakovsky, Dickens v. Lawyers (Op-Ed), NYTimes (Feb. 6, 2012).

I belong to a noble profession.
 
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