No corrections yet
The Origin of "Mr. Meeson's Will."
IT bas been stated that the main idea of this book was "conveyed" from a previous work by Aubert, says the London Ohle. This may or may not be so, but at all events I am in a position to suggest a far more likely source for this canons piece of fiction. Mr. Hider Haggard and myself happened to be called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on the same night some few years ago. After the ceremony, the newly-made advocates took wine together under the supervision of the benchers, accord- ing to ancient custom. Naturally enough a number of legal anecdotes, new and old, were trotted ont, and among them one telling how an eminent .Chancery lawyer was hoaxed by some of his pupils. These ribald young men concocted an imaginary case in which counsel was invited to say whether or not a will tatooed ona person's back could be''admitted to probate. If I recollect aright the' learned gentleman wrote an elaborate opinion decid- ing thé question : in the. affirmative. Now it is more than probable that this story came to the ears of Mr. Eider Haggard, either on this or some other occasion, for he moved in legal circles for some little time and practised in the Probate and Divorce Courts. At any rate, since the appearance of "Mr. Meeson's Will" I have always assumed that the author had done what he had a right to do-that is con- structed his story upon the bare idea of this anecdote, which was common property.