Monday, June 1, 2020

Quote of the Day (John Mortimer, With Horace Rumpole Harshly Judging a Judge)

“Mr. Justice Graves. What a contradiction in terms! Mr. 'Injustice' Graves, Mr. 'Penal' Graves, Mr. 'Prejudice' Graves, Mr. 'Get into Bed with the Prosecution' Graves, all these titles might be appropriate. But Mr. 'Justice' Graves, so far as I'm concerned, can produce nothing but a hollow laugh. From all this you may deduce that the old darling is not my favorite member of the Judiciary. Now he has been promoted, on some sort of puckish whim of the Lord Chancellor's from Old Bailey Judge to a scarlet and ermine Justice of the Queen's Bench, his power to do harm has been considerably increased….A session before Judge Graves has all the excitement and color of a Wesleyan funeral on a wet day in Wigan. His pale Lordship presides sitting bolt upright as though he had a poker up his backside, his voice is dirge-like and his eyes close in pain if he’s treated with anything less than an obsequious grovel.”— English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter, and novelist Sir John Mortimer (1923-2009), “Rumpole at Sea,” in Rumpole a La Carte (1990)

(The image accompanying this post shows the great character actor Leo McKern in what may be his most famous role: defense barrister Horace Rumpole, in the long-running British TV series Rumpole of the Bailey.)

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