Would you be kind enough to explain to me the meaning of the colorful metaphors “running their goat-hair and horse-haired warded heads against walls of word”?
“On such an afternoon, some score of members of the High court of Chancery bar ought to be—as here they are—mistily engaged in one of the ten thousand stages of an endless cause, tripping one another up on slippery precedents, groping knee-deep in technicalities, running their goat-hair and horse hair warded heads against walls of word; and making a pretense of equity with serious faces, as players might”.
I am acquainted with the fact that the wigs that English barristers wear in court are traditionally made of such exotic materials but I couldn’t grasp the meaning of the whole expression.
Thank you for your efforts.
British lawyers still must wear a 17th century style wig in the presence of a judge. Warded means protected, or armoured. Wall of word means immaterial enemy.