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volumes outside the door, labelled

volumes outside the door, labelled

By YouTHPublished 5 months ago 4 min read
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Law Books, all at 9d.” Some of the ‟

inscriptions I have enumerated were written in law-hand, like the papers

I had seen in Kenge and Carboy’s office and the letters I had so long

received from the firm. Among them was one, in the same writing,

having nothing to do with the business of the shop, but announcing that

a respectable man aged forty-five wanted engrossing or copying to

execute with neatness and dispatch: Address to Nemo, care of Mr.

Krook, within. There were several second-hand bags, blue and red,

hanging up. A little way within the shop-door lay heaps of old crackled

parchment scrolls and discoloured and dog’s-eared law-papers. I could

have fancied that all the rusty keys, of which there must have been

hundreds huddled together as old iron, had once belonged to doors of

rooms or strong chests in lawyers’ offices. The litter of rags tumbled

partly into and partly out of a one-legged wooden scale, hanging without

any counterpoise from a beam, might have been counsellors’ bands and

gowns torn up. One had only to fancy, as Richard whispered to Ada and

me while we all stood looking in, that yonder bones in a corner, piled

together and picked very clean, were the bones of clients, to make the

picture complete.

As it was still foggy and dark, and as the shop was blinded besides by

the wall of Lincoln’s Inn, intercepting the light within a couple of yards,

we should not have seen so much but for a lighted lantern that an old

man in spectacles and a hairy cap was carrying about in the shop.

Turning towards the door, he now caught sight of us. He was short,

cadaverous, and withered, with his head sunk sideways between his

shoulders and the breath issuing in visible smoke from his mouth as if

he were on fire within. His throat, chin, and eyebrows were so frosted

with white hairs and so gnarled with veins and puckered skin that he

looked from his breast upward like some old root in a fall of snow.

Hi, hi!” said the old man, coming to the door. Have you anything to ‟ ‟

sell?Law Books, all at 9d.” Some of the ‟

inscriptions I have enumerated were written in law-hand, like the papers

I had seen in Kenge and Carboy’s office and the letters I had so long

received from the firm. Among them was one, in the same writing,

having nothing to do with the business of the shop, but announcing that

a respectable man aged forty-five wanted engrossing or copying to

execute with neatness and dispatch: Address to Nemo, care of Mr.

Krook, within. There were several second-hand bags, blue and red,

hanging up. A little way within the shop-door lay heaps of old crackled

parchment scrolls and discoloured and dog’s-eared law-papers. I could

have fancied that all the rusty keys, of which there must have been

hundreds huddled together as old iron, had once belonged to doors of

rooms or strong chests in lawyers’ offices. The litter of rags tumbled

partly into and partly out of a one-legged wooden scale, hanging without

any counterpoise from a beam, might have been counsellors’ bands and

gowns torn up. One had only to fancy, as Richard whispered to Ada and

me while we all stood looking in, that yonder bones in a corner, piled

together and picked very clean, were the bones of clients, to make the

picture complete.

As it was still foggy and dark, and as the shop was blinded besides by

the wall of Lincoln’s Inn, intercepting the light within a couple of yards,

we should not have seen so much but for a lighted lantern that an old

man in spectacles and a hairy cap was carrying about in the shop.

Turning towards the door, he now caught sight of us. He was short,

cadaverous, and withered, with his head sunk sideways between his

shoulders and the breath issuing in visible smoke from his mouth as if

he were on fire within. His throat, chin, and eyebrows were so frosted

with white hairs and so gnarled with veins and puckered skin that he

looked from his breast upward like some old root in a fall of snow.

Hi, hi!” said the old man, coming to the door. Have you anything to ‟ ‟

sell?

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YouTH

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