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The Bar and its Moaning

Fun, II - 9th December 1865


Three publishers journeyed out into the West —
  Minster Hall where the Bench and the Bar go down:
Each published the cases that pleased him the best,
  And sold them to barristers working in town:
    For Bar must work, and tradesmen are deep;
So the cases they publish are far from cheap,
      And in spite of the Bar and its moaning!

A barrister sat in his chambers drear
  And he studied reports which the three took down;
He found them imperfect, and clumsy, and dear,
  Yet no others were published in country or town.
    And the counsel worked and the publishers slept,
And the publishers grinned while the counsel wept,
      And they laughed at the Bar and its moaning!

But one morning the counsel his temper lost,
  And the publishers' books to the winds he cast;
For he found them increasing in number and cost,
  And each was more clumsy and dear than the last:
    So the Bar complained, protested, and wrote;
But the publishers grinned, and they took no note
      Of the Bench, and the Bar, and its moaning!

Then the Bench and the Bar set to work in a trice —
  A working committee was formed one day,
And they gathered reports at a uniform price,
  Which simplified things in a wonderful way.
    Then the counsel grinned, and the publishers wept,
And the publishers cursed while the counsel slept,
      And they swore at the Bar and its moaning!

So the publishers woke from their golden dream,
  And did all in their power the plan to burke;
But while they disparaged the barristers' scheme,
  The committee went steadily on with their work:
    And the counsel grinned, and the publishers wept
As the new reports into favour crept,
      And they bothered the Bar with their moaning!

So the publishers come with a scrape and a bow,
  And they beg the committee, with many a whine,
To allow them to join the committeemen now,
  Which of course they politely but firmly decline:
    And the counsel laugh, and the publishers weep,
For the new reports are judicious and cheap,
      So good-bye to the Bar and its moaning!

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