Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Tale Of Old


 William Leech and the lawyer. The tale runs that a certain lawyer from Glossop, who practised in the Hyde
Court, had so badgered a witness that the latter sought for means of revenge. Out in the street the victim met the hero of the following ballad, who was mounted on a terribly high horse, and knowing the lawyer's liking for high steeds he put Leech up to accosting the advocate as he passed on his homeward ride up Mottram Road. The story is told by a local poet, and the ballad was very popular in it's day.

Not long ago, there met two men
On Mottram Road, I'll not say when.
Each in his own peculiar way
Intent on business that day.
They each were mounted on a nag,
And of their worth did freely brag ;
No other horse was worth a straw
Compared with that that carried Law.
But Leech, of course, would not say so.
For his one was the best to go ;
A fence the mare feared not a jot,
But bolted over like a shot.
The lawyer, being fond of sport,
Thought to himself " This is the sort
To lead the hunt and show the way,
By Jove, I am in luck to-day."
But as he had been tricked before
With buying horses, less or more.
He thought he now would try a dodge,
So wanted Leech to jump a hedge.
 Nay, nay," said Leech, " I am no rider,
But you may, if you'll get astride her."
So up jumped Law, and in a crack
Was o'er the hedge, and soon came back.
Said Mr. Law, " the mare will suit;
What money will you want to boot
'Twixt yours and mine, and give me luck ?"
" Well, dash," said Leech, " I want a ruck '
A little haggling 'twixt the pair
Took place, and Lawyer owned the mare,
Paying boot to Leech just seven pounds ten,
Who, laughing, thought—he's done again.
The lawyer said, "I'm right this round.
For the horse just sold I gave five pound."
 Well, well," said Leech, "the bargain's oer,
I now may tell, mine cost just four.
This made the Lawyer look quite blue,
And of the swap began to rue ;
To Hyde he rode, ne'er drawing reins,
And put the mare up at the Queen's.
He asked the host if ought he knew
About the mare ;—John looked askew.
And said " We'll send for Mr. Platt,"
Who said to Law, " You're done, that's flat."
This made the Lawyer look more queer.
He said " The mare may tarry here ;
At public auction I think I'll stake her,
If she does not sell, the Devil may take her."

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