Reprint: A Halting Pegasus


Melbourne, April l8.

Francis Ducker, the plaintiff in a suit before Judge Gaunt to-day, provoked great amusement by conducting his own case largely in blank verse. He opened to the jury, as follows.-

The charges of the legal bar are much too high for me,
So now to-day I plead my cause in simple manner here,
Against a doctor of the law, the lion, in his den.
The verse went on to explain that the defendant (Mr. A. E. Jones, solicitor and barrister) through not carrying out certain instructions had made the plaintiff lose £40. Two authorities were quoted by the plaintiff in blank verse to support a certain contention, and then he proceeded to outline his case once more in verse.

His Honor - This is not the first time you have burst out into poetry.

The Plaintiff - Unfortunately, no; but it helps me as a sort of tonic.

Finally judgment, with costs, was entered for the defendant, who denied the retainer, or any breach or neglect of duty.

First published in The Advertiser, 19 April 1904

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