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Woe is me, a lawyer

Shakespeare’s disdain for the profession has, unfortunately, transcended generations, explains Richard Barr

15 October 2014

It did not in my case drop
as “the gentle rain from heaven”. It bore a much closer resemblance to a lead balloon.

When I was young and green about the gills, I once decided that the local magistrates
would benefit from a touch of Shakespeare. I cannot now think how I believed it would do any good, but in entering a plea in mitigation I appealed to their worships’ literary side.

I gave them a dose of Portia’s speech in The Merchant of Venice.

“The quality of mercy is not strained,” I began.

“Excuse me, Mr Barr, what do you mean by ‘strained’?”

“Well, er, what comes naturally.”

“Like straining on the toilet,
Mr Barr?&rdq...

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