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EARLY RECOLLECTIONS

BY WM. C. HOYT
June 7th, 1873

While I was engaged in explaining my case, supposing that I had made a very convincing argument, the justice, scratching his head and pointing his index finger to the counsel, interrupted him by saying "Young man, you came from the city; we, out here, don't understand this slang. You will please address the court in plain English. " These remarks by His Honor took the starch out of me, and taught me one lesson in the practice of my profession, that is, to speak plain English before a justice of the peace. I often met, in the course of my practice, a gentleman farmer for whose memory I have the highest respect, one who filled the offices of member of the House of this State, Speaker of the House, State Senator, Governor, member of the House of Representatives, and Senator of the United States: Kinsley S. Bingham. Mr. Bingham's success as a practitioner, although he was never admitted to the bar, mainly depended on his good common sense and native shrewdness, —that kind which made him a successful politician. There was no starch in his composition, and he was popular with the masses. One day he and myself had a tilt before a justice of the peace. The court was held in a barn. The jury lounged upon the hay-mow, and among our auditors were the barn-yard fowls, who would often cease their conversation and listen to the eloquent remarks of distinguished counsel. I think in the summer of 1844 I first met that celebrated wit and genius, Rufus Hosmer, usually called by the familiar cognomen "Roof. "

Michigan


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