laughing. We glanced at the papers, and seeing Jarndyce and Jarndyce everywhere, asked an official- looking person who was standing in the midst of them, whether the cause was over. “Yes,” he said; “it was all up with it at last!” and burst out laughing too.

At this juncture, we perceived Mr Kenge coming out of court with an affable dignity upon him, listening to Mr Vholes, who was deferential, and carried his own bag. Mr Vholes was the first to see us. “Here is Miss Summerson, sir,” he said. “And Mr Woodcourt.”

“O indeed! Yes. Truly!” said Mr Kenge, raising his hat to me with polished politeness. “How do you do? Glad to see you. Mr Jarndyce is not here?”

No. He never came there, I reminded him.

“Really,” returned Mr Kenge, “it is as well that he is not here to-day, for his — shall I say, in my good friend‘s absence, his indomitable singularity of opinion? — might have been strengthened, perhaps; not reasonably, but might have been strengthened.”

“Pray what has been done to-day?” asked Allan.

“I beg your pardon?” said Mr Kenge, with excessive urbanity.

“What has been done to-day?”

“What has been done,” repeated Mr Kenge. “Quite so. Yes. Why, not much has been done; not much. We have been checked — brought up suddenly, I would say — upon the — shall I term it threshold?”

“Is this Will considered a genuine document, sir?” said Allan; “Will you tell us that?”

“Most certainly, if I could,” said Mr Kenge; “but we have not gone into that, we have not gone into that.”

“We have not gone into that,” repeated Mr Vholes, as if his low inward voice were an echo.

“You are to reflect, Mr Woodcourt,” observed Mr Kenge, using his silver trowel, persuasively and smoothingly, “that this has been a great cause, that this has been a protracted cause, that this has been a complex cause. Jarndyce and Jarndyce has been termed, not inaptly, a Monument of Chancery practice.”

“And Patience has sat upon it a long time,” said Allan.

“Very well indeed, sir,” returned Mr Kenge, with a certain condeseending laugh he had. “Very well! You are further to reflect, Mr Woodcourt,” becoming dignified almost to severity, “that on the numerous difficulties, contingencies, masterly fictions, and forms of procedure in this great cause, there has been expended study, ability, eloquence, knowledge, intellect, Mr Woodcourt, high intellect. For many years, the — a — I would say the flower of the Bar, and the — a — I would presume to add, the matured autumnal fruits of the Woolsack — have been lavished upon Jarndyce and Jarndyce. If the public have the benefit, and if the country have the adornment, of this great Grasp, it must be paid for, in money or money‘s worth, sir.”

“Mr Kenge,” said Allan, appearing enlightened all in a moment. “Excuse me, our time presses. Do I understand that the whole estate is found to have been absorbed in costs?”

“Hem! I believe so,” returned Mr Kenge. “Mr Vholes, what do you say?”

“I believe so,” said Mr Vholes.

“And that thus the suit lapses and melts away?”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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