In 1858 Archer Polson republished a collection of rich, colorful anecdotes about the English and Scottish bar and bench of the 1700s and early 1800s that first appeared as a two-volume edition in 1840. A warning to readers: once started reading these anecdotes, it is hard to put down. For instance:
"It is, however, a great mistake to suppose that the most successful advocate is he that is the most eloquent. The late Lord Abinger, who on all hands must be admitted to have been the first advocate of his time, had not the remotest pretentions to eloquence. His style was colloquial; he talked over the jury. He never bullied them, attempting, like his great antagonist, Mr. Brougham, to wring verdicts from them, to force them, reluctant and terrified, to do his bidding. His bearing towards them was bland and respectful; he took care never to alarm them with the fury of rhetoric; he was fluent, and as Johnson said of Churchill, was a tree that bore only crabs, but bore a great many."
"When [Lord Jeffreys] was a judge, an old man with a large beard was examined before him. His evidence displeasing Jeffreys, he said---"If your conscience is as large as your beard, you'll swear anything." The old man replied---"My lord, if your lordship measures consciences by beard, your lordship has none at all."