John Goldencalf observes the legal system at work.
Case: (Capt. NOAH POKE) No. 1, Sea-Water-Color.
ON this point the twelve Judges decided, firstly, that forthwith did not mean forthwith; secondly that forthwith did mean forthwith; thirdly, that forthwith had two legal meanings; fourthly, that it was illegal to apply one of these legal meanings to a wrong legal purpose; and, fifthly, that the objection was of no avail, as respected the case of No. 1, sea-water-color. Ordered, therefore, that the criminal lose his tail forthwith.
The objection to the other sentence met with no better fate. Men and monikins did not differ more than some men differed from other men, or some monikins differed from other monikins. Ordered, that the sentence be confirmed with costs. I thought this decision the soundest of the two; for I had often had occasion to observe, that there were very startling points of resemblance between monkeys and our own species. —John Goldencalf.
James Fenimore Cooper, The Monikins