(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

The court was assembled, waiting for the learned Judge, the plaintiff, and the defendant. The jurymen were warned that they must set aside all prejudice and view the case in a judicial state of mind. The usher, who warned them to be fair, went into raptures over the beauty and the heartbreak of the plaintiff, ending each bit of praise, however, with the reminder to be free of bias.

When Edwin, the defendant, entered, the jurymen chanted to him to beware their fury. The defendant thought this a very strange proceeding and begged them to hear his story. The jury, after consultation, agreed that they should hear his plea. Then the defendant told how his heart had leaped with joy when he first knew his old love. He had laid his heart and his riches at her feet. He had moped and sighed just like a lovesick boy. But then the joy had turned to boredom. The flame of love had burned out, and so one morning he had awakened to be another’s lovesick boy.

The jurymen then confessed that when they were young lads they had behaved in much the same fashion and acted as regular cads. Now that they were respectable men, they had not a scrap of sympathy for the defendant.

The learned Judge entered, but before he would hear the case he felt obliged to tell the court how he had become judge. When he was first called to the bar, he was, like most barristers, an impecunious lad, and he had almost despaired of ever trying a case before an English jury. Tiring at last of this third-class living, he had married a rich attorney’s old and ugly daughter. The rich attorney had rewarded him for his sacrifice, after assuring him that he would soon grow used to his bride’s looks. Cases then came fast to the young attorney and...

(The entire section is 709 words.)