Great liars of the law

Our item on the lawyer who “lies so much he had to hire someone to call his dog” reminded Tom Freeland of a lawyer who flourished during the boom years in early Mississippi that began in the 1830s, one Ovid Bolus, Esq., as portrayed in a book of the 1850s:

Bolus was a natural liar, just as some horses are natural pacers, and some dogs natural setters. What he did in that walk, was from the irresistible promptings of instinct, and a disinterested love of art. His genius and his performances were free from the vulgar alloy of interest or temptation.

Accordingly, he did not labor a lie: he lied with a relish: he lied with a coming appetite, growing with what it fed on: he lied from the delight of invention and the charm of fictitious narrative.

The much longer passage of which that is a sample is well worth reading in its entirety, if only for its historical flavor (and not because any lawyers like that still walk among us, of course).

Freeland, incidentally, is well known to many readers as longtime contributor “NMC” at Folo, a blog that for years shed invaluable light on Mississippi politics and law and in particular the state’s judicial scandals; that blog and its editor Lotus have lately gone on hiatus, but Freeland has set up with his own Mississippi-focused blog.

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