Page:Once a Week, Series 1, Volume II Dec 1859 to June 1860.pdf/203

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[February 25, 1860.

Lamb related to me, that after having made many attempts to improve his condition in the world, and as often failed, the opening of the Divorce Court had given him the opportunity of which he had been so long in search. He had now established himself as lady’s solicitor in Great George Street, Westminster—a genteel address, and handy to the Court. He added, that as the business in which he had engaged required the most opposite qualifications, he had taken to himself a partner, the Antipodes to himself in all respects. This gentleman’s name was Rackem. The door-plate in Great George Street bore the inscription of


Mr. Lamb took the lady department; Mr. Rackem looked after the gentlemen. Mr. Lamb avenged the wives; Mr. Rackem the husbands. Mr. Lamb used as a seal a stricken dove; Mr. Rackem, Waller’s eagle, with the device, “That eagle’s fate and mine are one.” Mr. Lamb gave little dinners in a charming little house in Chapel Street, Park Lane; Mr. Rackem lived at Camberwell, in a stern stucco villa, protected by two stucco dogs sitting upon their own hard tails, and never entertained anybody. Mr. Lamb was the Corinthian, Mr. Rackem the Doric, pillar of the establishment in Great George Street.

alt = The modiste Madame Lareine gives advice on dressing for a divorce trial. The scene is in a dressmaker’s shop, with bonnes and skirts around, at left is fancily-dressed Mrs. Barber and her solicitor Mr. Lamb, at right is Mme. Lareine.

“But, my dear fellow,” he said, “I’ll tell you all about it another time—here we are in Maddox Street. A thought of my own. I have established business relations with a French lady who has undertaken to dress my clients for the Court. Madame Leocadie Lareine is a most remarkable woman; she can enter into the spirit of a case. She has, as you may say, a feeling for an allegation, and can dress a lady up to the mark. You can’t conceive what a mess the ladies would make of it for themselves. They overdo or underdo the thing. No woman her own client—no client her own mantua-maker. Madame Lareine is a decided genius. I have known her dress a lady, who couldn’t be brought up to town until the last moment, from the affidavits.”

We entered the ingenious French lady’s establishment by a private door, and were shown up-stairs to a drawing-room, with a table in the centre with a few bonnets and caps upon it. Two or three dresses were spread out upon the sofas, and as we came in Madame Lareine was gesticulating away in a very energetic manner, to a pretty, but somewhat overdressed lady, about eight-and-twenty years of age, as I should judge.

“Madame, if you present yourself so before the court vous êtes perdue. That bonnet would even turn what you call de common jury. See here, Monsieur Lamb, here is Madame Barbar, who is to go to de court to-morrow, and all depends upon cruauté, and her idea is a green shot gros, with de