I’m speculating, of course, but with my insider knowledge I would guess that the Reverend Dr Halse–magistrate at law–looks forward to every quarter sessions with beady anticipation.
I picture him, sitting in splendid isolation, at the breakfast table in the hotel in Bodmin Town in the county of Cornwall on the morning of the first day of the Assizes, involuntarily rubbing his hands together at the prospect of another opportunity to punish wrong-doing.
“And punish severely!” he’s muttering under his breath.
“Order must be maintained if “Society” is to survive and the status quo maintained.”
“Some would consider these harsh decisions, but a court of law is no place for sentiment–the law is the Law. We must make an example of those who flout it for their own gain and expect to get off lightly.”
“No” and “No, again!”
Without thinking he brings his fist down on the breakfast table with the force of a gavel (a favorite gesture of his in court) sending his coffee cup flying out of its saucer, spilling its contents over the pretty tablecloth, threatening his newly-pressed gaiters.
The boiled egg–sitting so smugly in its eggcup (three-and-a-half minutes precisely) catapults from its moorings and lands its neatly-opened side on his crisply-ironed clerical necktie, spilling yellow yoke down its considerable length.
An expletive seldom heard in polite society–let alone from the lips of this earnestly reverend gentleman–explodes into the air, stunning the animated company into silence.
No-one moves a limb as the Reverend Dr Halse rises from his chair, his normally chalk white face a sweaty ruby red and holding his napkin close to his chest, he strides from the room.
It is destined to be an uncomfortable session for any unfortunate defendant later this morning!
You can see what happened next tonight on PBS’s Masterpiece–episode three of POLDARK.