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Sib, —“ Paint me as I am, warts and all,” said the late Mr. Oliver Cromwell, of pious memory, to Mr. Cooper, the artist. Print mo as I write, say I. I may, it is true, do better in the sweet by-and-by, when my hand grows accustomed to the Tomahawk, but in the meantime print my letter as it stands, with all its imperfections on its head. Don’t improve it, or add to it, or take from it, as the Mail did. I am on the warpath, and scalping is a sweet occupation. I wish to furnish my wigwam with the scalps of the oppressor and the humbug. Beware ye humbugs, for justice shall be the law of


To the Editor of the Ashburton Mail,

Sib, —For some time past the name of Joseph Ivess has been constantly thrust by him before the public, and between himself and Captain Barry the public are getting tired of such outrageous egotism. The one tells us that ho is at least equal to the Lord High Chancellor of England in ■matters of law, and the other that he has stood on 131 platforms in England with half the nobility at his back. When I took up my paper this morning, bent on half-an-hour’s lazy enjoyment, I came across a letter, and (like the man who took the physic by mistake) I had read it before 1 knew whose it was, and then I felt the disagreeable nausea arising. “ Heavens !” said X ; “ how long is this man going to abuse our patience ? When are we to hear the last of ‘ the accomplished journalist ?’ of ‘ This celebrated cause ?’ of ‘ another victory scored by a layman V of

‘ the legal and Court blunders so successfully overcome by the great IV ” Is not * that letter too much for human patience ? There is not a sentence of it good English, there is scarce a sentence which does not i contain a falsehood, and it all unmistakably shows that it is dictated by the morbid vanity of a shallow mind and the malevolence of a bad heart. Does this man think Mr. Branson would notice his letter 1 Mr. Branson is an educated gentleman, and there can be nothing in common between him and Mr. Ivess. The letter is one of the most untruthful ones I have ever read. I should like to take it sentence by sentence, but it would take up too much of your space, and there is no need to break a butterfly upon a wheel. But could not this shallow egotist ascertain from the legal menagerie which he has imported from a Christchurch third storey that Mr. Guinness does not “ sit upon suits,” or indeed sit in Equity at all. Yet he writes about drawing a rule nisi, a mandamus, and what not. A heaven born barrister truly. He actually pities Mr. Branson’s ignorance of his profession. Would it surprise this great pleader to know that gentlemen of Mr. Branson’s standing consider this great amateur simply brutally ignorant, and, moreover, that this is unmistakably stamped on bis very common visage. You shall not, J Ivess, you and your menagerie, you shall not drag a noble profession through the mire with impunity. Nemo me impune lacessit is the noble motto of a noble race, and faith, I intend to illustrate it. How Joseph Ivess scripsit “Judge Ward gave the Magistrate a slap on the face.” Mark the poetical and refined mind of the great Ivess. Now, take that assertion figuratively, or in any way possible, and 1 can say (because I was present) that it is a deliberate and mean falsehood. The facts were entirely the other way Judge Ward set down Mr. Ivess (and sat on him) and told him he had nothing to do with the jurisdiction of Mr. Guinness. Mr. Ivess trembled and grew pale, and I drew the evident deductions from these signs. From the beginning of the libel case until the present time Mr. Ivess has blundered in the Courts like a jackass in a wilderness; he has published his astounding vanity and gross ignorance until he is the laughing stock of every intelligent person in the community. Captain Barry has reached the rotten egg stage, and mark me, his is the pretty certain fate of every rampant demagogue. The people are slow, but they are sure, and sooner or hffer they will arrive at a true estimate of contemptible pretension and ignorant presumption. If the people , knew the real facts of the case, Ivess v. Martin, I venture to say they would : howl at the great Panjandrum, and feel as indignant as I feel now. It is this case that has brought “-Tomahawk” on him, and although he has no warlock on his pate I shall certainly scalp him. To practise his-prentice hand at law, he commenced proceedings against poor Mr. Martin. He sued him for some L 27, • when there could only be some L 6 due, which be could have had at any time. ■ He would act as his own lawyer, and he got made a hare of by Mr. Branson, ; whose client grew tired of defeating the i vain-glorious yahoo and paid him off what he admitted. He could not gain a single t step in any Court. He paid away quite as much in Court fees and costs as the whole amount d le, and yet he could not get judgment Mr. Martin did wisely in paying thefew pounds ; for however successful • a man may be in the Courts, it is in the power of the most vain, the most shallow, the ignorant and male- ; volent opponent, if he have money, [ to annoy the life out of a t quiet inoffensive gentleman like Mr. Martin, who does not wish to meddle . with law at all.

Because Mr. Ivcss had caught that well known disease, known as the law craze, poor Mr. Martin had to suffer, but happily not in defeat, hut in a succession of victories. To illustrate “ the law craze,” I had better follow Sam Slick’s example, and tell a story “in point.” Mr. Scott, alias Captain Moonlight, once on a time robbed the bank at Egerton, and in such a way that suspicion was cast on a bank clerk, against whom Mr. Scott gave evidence, and be certainly bad a narrow escape. Mr. Macdermott, who is now in Dunedin, defended him. Shortly after Mr. Scott himself was placed on his trial, and at the same time he was attacked by “ the law craze.” He defended himself, and kept the Court two days. Mr. Justice Barry gave him ten years, principally as an acknowledgment of his legal ability. All the time he was in Pentridge his whole mind was set on having another display in Court. He barricaded his cell, attacked the warder with a knife, and so forth. Now, said the noble captain, you must put me on my trial in Melbourne for this. However, a visiting Justice gave him solitary and bread and water for some weeks, and this Repressed his noble rage,

And froze the genial current of his soul. The ten years having elapsed, Mr. Scott came out from Pentridge, and the legal craze was still as strong as ever. He determined if not “the applause of listening Senates to command,” at least to have the ears of the jury for some time. There is a pretty strong Bar in Sydney, but not one came up to Mr. Scott’s idea of himself. He had his display, but it was more expensive this time. The presiding judge ordered him to be hung by the neck till he was dead, and dead the estimable Mr. Scott certainly is ; and he had a large audience at the last. He was charged with cowardice, but this was but a week invention of the enemy. If this story has a moral, it would bo that a law crage is not a good thing for narrow ill-balanced minds, and pauper understandings. However, to return to our muttons, as the French say. Mr. Martin defeated the great Panjandrum so often that at last he got tired of victory and especially tired of seeing his name constantly set out in the formula Ivess v. Martin. As one pays an organ-grinder to move on, Mr. Martin paid Mr. Ivess. But Mr. Ivess did not move on ; he at once danced a corroboree, so to speak, and published his great letter. Who does not remember J. Ivess’ first appearance in the Borough Council, and his speech on that occasion. Agamemnon could not compare with him. One thing surprised me, and that was that no one kicked him out. If shallow voters send in such a man to represent them he should be treated properly. Why should sensible business men be compelled to sit in his company, and worse, hear him speak arrogant nonsense slightly through the nose, and with the most horribly disagreeable tone ever heard.

How long, O Jonathan Ivess, art thou going to abuse our patience ? How long art thou to be allowed to drag a noble profession in the mire “ under distinguished patronage”? How many more lawyers—heaven save the mark ! —art thou going to import from the attics of Christchurch? Art thou, O Ivess, art thou going to form a legal museum ? Great is the legal menagerie, and lo ! Joseph is its prophet. Bishmillah.—lam, &c., Tomahawk.

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Bibliographic details

IVESS V. MARTIN., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 173, 22 October 1880

Word Count

IVESS V. MARTIN. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 173, 22 October 1880

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