Imagens das páginas
PDF
[graphic][graphic][graphic][ocr errors]

THE POLITICAL EXAMINER.

If I might give a short hint to an impartial writer it would he to tell him his fate. If he reached to venture upon t c dangerous precipice of tolling unbissscd truth let him proclaim war with mankind—neither to give our to take quarter. If he tells the crimes of great men they fall upon him Willi the iron hands of the law; if he tells them of virtual, when they have any, than the mob atvickl him with slander. But if he regards truth, let him expert martyrdom on both 11:"; and than he may go on fearless; and this is the course 1 take myself.— ‘ol.

[graphic]
[graphic]

THE YEAR GONE BY.

Whatever we may thinkof the year gone by, the conviction strongly forces itself upon us, as we hid it farewell, that we shall not soon look upon its like again. It was essentially a year of anomalies,—-of uninterrupted peace with our neighbours, with all the burthen and stir of preparation for war,—of manufacturing dislocation on an unexampled scale, with an overflow of exports unparalleled,-- of social good humour, checked by political disgust and disappointment. At the sacrifice of many honest hopes and sympathies, we have refrained from interfering by force of arms in the troubles of both East and West; and yet we have never been in a condition to do so more effectually than during the year just closed. We have continued to spend, we are afraid to say how much, on experimental ships and weapons of war, yet our Government has submitted to be taunted in turn by our three greatest rivals, and accused of irresolution because we would not follow any suggestion of theirs that could by possibility betray us into deviation from neutrality. It cannot be denied, that the steady adherence to this policy of caution renders us for the time equally unpopular with the Democracy of the West, the Despotism of the North, and that which claims to be the impersonation of both principles in France. England cannot be made to do what the mind of England has come to consider wrong. We go crusading no more, on behalf of Abraham Lincoln, or against Alexander II., or as the companion of the self-constituted Autocrat of the Latin race. Except where we are specifically bound by clear and definite treaty engagements, we shall never again see the resources of this country spent in deciding the quarrels of our neighbours. French official newspapers may declaim, as they are ordered by their master to do, against what they are pleased to call England's want of spirit; but 1863 will long be remembered with satisfaction by the industrious people of this country, as that in which a term was finally put to the infatuated system of intermeddling in continental affairs which has been the bane of this country since the Revolution, and which we have to thank for the enormous waste of national strength in our accumulation of debt. If ever that monster burthen is to be lightened, and the comforts and necessaries of life rendered more accessible to the mass of the community, it must be by the steady adherence to the wise and just policy thus inaugurated. The most tangible illustration of that policy is to be found in the satisfaction with which we all note the fact that the revenue collected in 1863 was less by nearly Two Millions than that of the preceding year. Everybody understands that this is the reverse of what used to be called a “ falling-off” in the national income. The truer name for it is a pulling-up; it is to that extent the stoppage of a wasteful drain upon the nation’s ways and means. Had we interposed in the American quarrel, or joined in the wretched attempt to make a French-Austrian monarchy of Mexico, or, in concert With France, made war upon Russia, we should have ppread wrdely the flames of war through Europe, while, instead of taxes remitted, we should have had new taxes laid on, and further additions made to the already vast mountain of debt: and at the end of all our sacrifices, We should, as in most previous instances, have nothing but murmurs and curses for our thanks, and be simply rewarded With our losses for our pains. The country never was in 1668 Quakerly mood than during the past year, when tomptatron to resist the 'evil done beyond our shores has been strong and incessant; but the deliberate judgment of the country has never been in a healthier condition of rcpugnance to warfsring for ideal or dynastic objects.

Our great domestic dificulty in Lancashiro is gradually coming to _an_end. There may perhaps be reason for regret that the principles of relief, approved by ordinary experience, Were not more closely adhered to in some respects, by those who had the local administration of charity in their hands; and by-and-by it W111 well if all that has been done is calmly and carefully reviewed by some competent and impartial hand, In order that a chart may be formed to guide our course in any future emergency. But on the whole

we are entitled to look back with pride and satisfaction at miny of complete defeat by the capture of Puebla. This Was l which settled the matter. 1‘

[ocr errors]

SATURDAYTIJANIUIAEY 2, 1864.

the prompt and complete rescue of a great population from' the horrors of absolute want; and we cannot too highly‘ prize the value of the demonstration afforded by the exemplary conduct of that population, of the truth so long contended for, that the educated Working classes are cminently worthy of the rights of citizenship, and fit to be. entrusted with its privileges. Hereafter we shall tolerate no more the coxcomb rhetoric that even recently denounced the political claims of industry, as subversive and anarchical. The conductof the Lancashire operatives during the two years of the Cotton Famine, is a comprehensiVe and conclusive answer to all talk of that kind. When the people were; uneducated, their ignorance was made the excuse for excluding them from the pale of the Constitution. When that pretext could no longer reasonably be urged, our oligarchs exclaimed that, however tranquil and loyal the many might be in days of prosperity, let but adversity come, and they

would speedily prove how unsafe it was to entrust themg

[graphic]

UNSTAMPED ...FIVEPENCE. PRICE isramrsn ...... ...s1xrs1vcs. achieved by the intercepting of a convoy of supplies to the starved garrison. In April the German Diet and the Danes were arguing, and a son of, Prince Christian now King of Denmark, became King of Greece.

In May it was Madagascar’s turn to have a revolution, that being the month of the assassination of King Radama the Second. June opened with the French Emperor’s discovery that all the arrondissements of Paris had sent to the French Legislative Chamber members opposed to his despotic form of government. In July began for us a fresh war in New Zealsnd. August was the month in which the bombardment of Kagosima showed that we had a small war on our hands also in Japan. In September, men who remembered Charles the First saw with great interest the stupid King of Prussia dissolving his Chamber of Deputies and bringing his claims of Divine right into direct conflict with the Prussian Constitution, and what seemed abroad to be the strong and

with any voice in national afi'airs. That mean and cowardly 1 right mind of his people_ But the Prussian people proved Plea can be urged 11° 1°n89r- The Pe°P1° have: thmugh' lmore stupid than their King. They did return again their out the recent crisis, shown an example to those who call l own popular representatives, but meanwhile the Federal themselves their betters,which these would do wellto ponder. ‘ Diet and the Danes had been spar-ring, and the death of

[and education in the sister country. The present parlia

[graphic]

They have not even by public meetings or petitions urged \ the adoption of that interference in America which, in the superficial view of many of our heaven-born statesmen, promised a ready means of relief from the dearth of cotton. , To what greater trial could any community be exposed, than that which the unemployed multitude of mill hands ‘ have thus endured so nobly? In every other branch of y trade there has been, during the past year, a fair average of work, and in many trades a rise of wages, consequentl upon more than ordinary employment. The value of our export has gone on increasing, until in November it reached l2,700,000!.; and there seems no reason to doubt that the total for the year will be considerably above that of its predecessors. It is, we own, humiliating to be obliged to record side by side with these signal proofs of prosperity, the flight of population from one of the healthiest and most prolific portions of the United Kingdom. We discard altogether the miserable attempt to philosophize on the subject in an optimist sense; or to pretend to regard tho rapid depopulation of whole districts in Ireland as nothing more than the result of facility and cheapness of intercourse with the Western hemisphere, or a natural illustration of the system of free trade in labour. We say at once that we consider it referable distinctly and directly to the miserable system of misrule still dominant in Ireland, and as such, we cannot look upon it in any other light than as a disgrace and a danger. We are the richest country in the world, and in many respects the most powerful; but our rivals are pressing hard upon us, and are sure henceforth to do so. We cannot afford to keep a huge gangrene for ever cankering and sloughing in the right arm of our strength. It is time the wound should be probed with a fearless hand in order that it may be onco and for all cleansed and healed. The bribes of the Federal crimps may be the lure that tempts some few thousand young and enterprising spirits to cross the ocean; but, they are no more the whole cause of the Irish exodus to America in 1863, than the Anglican establishment is the source of the diminution of crime, and the improvement of highways

[graphic]

ment has taken a long legislative holiday; it is time that it should set to practical work again; and if it is to last for another session, it behaves it to redeem the time that may yet remain by a few acts of substantial utility. The unsatisfactory and insecure state of things in Ireland may well engage its early and its earnest attention.

The foreign event of the past year which has most strongly aroused the sympathies of England has been the Polish insurrection, which in little more than another fortnight will have completed the first twelve months of its course. It began on the 22nd of January, 1863, when it had been found that educated young men who loved their country were the chosen victims of conscription, and the young men therefore left their homes, went armed into the woods, and began their struggle against unendnrable op

[graphic]

pression. In that great struggle they have been joined by their countrymen, and so effectively that Poland has now ‘ risen again into at least a name honoured wherever liberty is dear, and a name of dread and difficulty to the Czar, whose false position forces him either to abjure all the tra- l ditions of his office or descend into the worst brutalities of crime. '

The outbreak of that Polish Revolt was the event of} January, 1863. In February the King of Prussia publicly refused to the representatives of his people the right tol control the national expenditure, and the Greeks, who had by a quiet resolution chased King Otho back to his ownl Germany, by 230,000 votes expressed their desire to take an English prince for King.

The event of March in England was the marriage of the Prince of Wales. It was on the last day of the same

,month that the French Emperor’s banditti war against the '

national life of the Mexicans was rescued from the igno

the late King of Denmark, in November, was received as the signal for a German rush after a patriotic will-o’-thewisp. His Majesty of Prussia is left in possession of his people’s liberties, and his wise people, careless about their own true rights, are running a-muck against those of the Danes.

Whilo thus the sound of active conflict begins to be heard in Central and Northern Europe, Poland battles and bleeds daily for liberty and, across the Atlantic, those who should realize the civil liberty for which so many in Europe still daily contend, are fighting with each other for dominion and fraternizing with the servants of the Czar.

Let us cleave fast to peace and quiet while we may; the day may not be very distant when we also shall be forced into the new and growing turmoil of the world. Where the liberties of the people are most clearly assured, in England, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, there is no element of war to be discovered. It is despotism alone that breeds war, or has ever bred it. Whether it be the passion of the irresponsible unit, or the wrath or restlessness of the people whom he rides and galls, it is always and only he that destroys liberty who murders peace.

[graphic][merged small]

We did some injustice to Colonel Crawley when we characterized as of unmatched irrationality his argument that the guilt of tho untried'prisouer Lilley was to be assumed from the fact of the legality of his arrest. We had, indeed, overlooked the reasoning of the President of the Court upon the same point, and carrying the absurdity still farther. “ We may assume," said he, “ that Sergeant“ Major Lilley was a culprit to the fullest extent, in consc“ quencc of the stringent orders given by superior authority “ for his close arrest.”

It is a corollary, then, that the close arrest of an untried man under the stringent orders of an ofilcer in superior authority is tantamount to a conviction of his guilt to the fullest extent. \Vhat need, then, of trial, unless indeed it be to conform to the model of justice established by the famous judge in the Courts below, Rhadamanthus, who heard what his prisoners had to say in their defence after conviction and punishment.

If it is to be presumed that a man is guilty because by high authority he has been placed in close arrest, the fact must carry with it such a load of prejudice as to make the forms of trial a mere mockery. E4: parts the prisoner is condemned. To hear both sides is a rule of justice ignored by the President of the Aldershott Court-Martial. The hearing of one side is, in his judgment, enough to_warrant an assumption of guilt. The Colonel had made his charge to the Generals, and the Generals, assuming it to be true, had directed the close confinement of the accused,_and from that, says the President of a Court of Military Justice, it was to be assumed that the prisoner was ‘fa “ culprit to the fullest extent." Assumption of guilt throughout, and nothing but assumption ! _

To what purpose, then, do the Articles of War so carefully provide trial for the accused Within reasonable time, if the orders of a General officer in high command can prejudgs the whole case, causing guilt to be assumed to the fullest extent alleged?

The great Roman satirist asks, in the case of a man

5 condemned under the worst tyranny,—

. . Sod quo cecidit sub crimins ? Quisna_m Delator? Quibus indiciis? Quo tests probsVit 5‘ Nil horum. Verbosa et grandis epistola venit.

A Capreis: bone habct, nil plus interrigc.

[blocks in formation]
[graphic]
[graphic]

without any view to trial, and from that close sweet it is asserted that guilt was to be presumed to the fullest extent, no trial following to enable the prisoner to prove his innocence, if indeed it could be possible to do so against the avowed prejudice arising from the mere fact of the orders for a strict sequestration. A preliminary injustice may thus be made the warrant for a final injustice. There is no remedy. There is the treatment upon which is based the assumption of guilt, and there an end, no trial following, nor having been contemplated by the superior authority, whose avowed object was to prevent, not to deal with offence. Sir Wm. Mansfield, indeed, had to confess that there was not evidence to support the charge of conspiracy, upon which, nevertheless, he ordered the prisoners to be detained in custody, in defiance of the Articles of War, which would have given them the benefit either of trial or liberation. But of what avail are articles of war if military Dogberrys can be permitted to assume guilt from the arrest which follows accusation, whether false or true. And how monstrous it is to hear this propounded as doctrine by the President of a military tribunal, and what a key it gives us to decisions that have hitherto seemed unaccountable. The first maxim of justice, the presumption of innocence, is reversed if a rigorous confinement be directed by a superior authority, and though in the very order,l the admission he made that there are not grounds to‘ support the charge! Lilley was a culprit to the fullest extent, because confined by direction of the Commanderin-Chief, who found no evidence against him to go to trial.

[graphic]

have been honestly applied, then they may have some claim to boast that they treat nationalities better than they do in Europe. The treatment may not be all satisfactory, but Russia and Austria. promise at last constitutional and national rights to Poles and to Hungarians. Whence there is no use in Turks promising what they would not even know how to perform, had they the humanity and the will requisite.

The administration of Christian provinces by Turks is just as barbarous as ever it was, and so is the national policy towards Christians independent or semi-independent of them. The greater part of the Turkish army is at this moment concentrated in the Christian province of Bulgaria and literally eating it up, whilst its avowed object in being there is to watch, that is menace, the provinces that are independent of it. During the last months the Divan has believed in the near prospect of war. Nor do they now think it more than deferred till the spring. Fresh complications of European events daily occur, and State has threatened State in a manner too open for fears and resentments to be appeased without an appeal to the sword.

The partial and antagonistic alliance for war, which would have sprung out of a congress, rather than a universal agreement to prevent hostilities, is what has allured the Sultan to declare himself ready to appear personally in Paris. The policy of the Turk, however, is less to join in an onslaught upon Russia—he had enough of that in the Crimea—than to take advantage of a war in Europe to

[graphic]

We have to thank our correspondent V., whose letter will be found in another plaw, for re-citing the 'memo-l raudum of the Duke of Cambridge, of December, 1862.' We thought at the time, that the force of the reprimand, conveyed not only to Colonel Crowley, but also to the two' Generals, was not sufliciently understood, nor the justice inspiring it duly appreciated. And we are more than ever confirmed in that opinion. There is no acquittal in that judgment, and none of its effect is cancelled by the CourtMartial, which has sealed the condemnation of CourtsMartial as now constituted and conducted. We may indeed wish that the Duke of Cambridge had gone further, and brought to justice the injustice he censured, but to the extent to which his Royal Highness went nothing could be better, and never in fewer words was so much merited censure conveyed.

NATIONALITIES IN TURKEY.

The Journal of Constantinople, the official organ of the Ports, published the other day a remarkable article, the aim of which was to establish that the poor, sick, and disorganized Christian countries of Europe stood in the most desolate need of a Congress, to remedy and patch up their States of anarchy, helplessness, and disorder; the Ottoman Empire being alone free from all these weaknesses, and in the full enjoyment of prosperity and power. We, journalists of the West, who are accustomed to look upon the Sultan as the Sick Man, and his country as little better than a large hospital or barrack, or both, have some reason to be surprised at this retort courteous.

The assertion is, however, reasoned out. According to the Turkish official writer, the ills of Europe all come of the oppression of nationalities. Most European States consist of dominant races, which are severe upon subject ones; and hence comes the Polish war, the Hungarian passive rebellion, and the Holstein uprising. One race will no longer bear to be dominated by another; and the only plan will be to adopt the Turkish policy, of allowing to each race its own autonomy. Thus, it seems, we are hidden to go to Turkey as to a school of government. The Sultan proposes to come to the Congress at Paris, in order to give it lessons in the science of government. At the same time, his Highness promises that he will take no lessons in turn. He offers to attend Congress solely on condition that nothing be there discussed that may affect the integrity of the Ottoman Empire. This means to say that the Turks will not suffer the Dauubion question to be discussed, or the Greek question settled, out of Constantinople.

The assertion indeed is comical, though not altogether untrue, that the Turks alone have respected nationalities! They have done so indeed, wherever they were forced to it. When the Turks first over-ran the rich plains north and south of the Danube, they found that, unlike the people of Asia, the Danubians preferred death to apostasy. There was nothing left but to exterminate them. But if the Danubian population was exterminated, the Turks had no other to replace them with. And they required to have the land somewhat cultivated, in order that their armies might subsist in passing over it to the conquest of Hungary and of Europe. Hence the Danubians were allowed to liVe, and being so allowed, this more warlike race soon grasped their weapons anew, fought, and regained their independence. Those who did so attained their autonomy, and the Turks only refused it to those races which were not so fortunate or so brave. The Turks have, in order to put an end to war, stipulated their withdrawal from the soil of Servia and Roumania. But they still tread down the unfortunate Bulgarians, another Christian race, once a dominant one, but now unable to make even the commonest rights of humanity respected in their persons.

When the Turks begin to treat the Bulgarians as other than ra/yahs, and when some of even the smallest safeguards

re-conquer immediate sovereignty in the provinces of the Danube. The weakness of Egyptian Pashas has allowed the Sultan to recover dominion and authority upon the Nile. A European war, and his own large armies, ably led, would achieve on the Danube, he thinks, what circumstances have accomplished on the Nile.

This intention is quite evident in the whole conduct of the Turkish Government towards Servia, and towards Moldo-Wallachia. And if the Princes of those countries have got under the shadow and shelter of our army, this is merely the result of a legitimate and well-founded fear. It is rather preposterous, therefore, and indeed apparently ironical, for Turkish official writers (Franks, no doubt) to pretend at the present day that Turkey is the only country which respects nationalities; there being no autocracy in Europe more desirous of swallowing up and crushing out the Christian nationalities than the Turkish Government itself.

UN CON TROLLABLE IMPULSES.

Upon the plea of insanity set up in defence of Townley, charged with the murder of Miss Goodwin, Mr Baron Martin instructed the jury:

That which the law called an insane mind was a mind which was under delusions—that was, a person whose mind was diseased, and who supposed a state of things to exist which did not exist, and whose diseased mind was in such a condition that he acted upon an imaginary existence of things as if those things were real.

This definition does not satisfy Dr Black, who writes to the Times a long letter, the pith of which lies in this passage:

There is a form of insanity which this legal definition does not touch, but which is, nevertheless, of frequent occurrence, and which irresistibly impcls its victim to the commission of acts apparently of outrage and murder. This species of insanity is termed by the French medical psychologists “mania mm Jilin," and by the English “instinctive madness or insane impulse." According to Esquirol, “It is in some respects a different affection from that which has been designated moral insanity." By Pritchard it is regarded as

“ A variety of moral insanity, but very distinct from the disorder of the feelings and moral affections, as pervading the whole mind and perverting the moral character of the individual. In this instinctive madness the understanding is unclouded as it is in moral insanity. There is no hallucination or delusion. The will is occasionally under the influence of a disordered impulse, which suddenly drives the person affected to acts of the most revolting kind and to the commission of what he has no motive for doing. This impulse is instinctive ; it is irresistible."

Is this science, or is it what they describe in the East as throwing words into the air? “ The will is occasionally “ under the influence of a disordered impulse.” What does that mean? Is the will an instrument, not a ruling power? How is the will to be distinguished from ungovernable impulse? Must not ungovernable impulse be the will? There cannot co-exist in the mind two distinct directing powers, the will and impulse, and the impulse, which this writer supposes to govern the will, is simply the action of the will itself.

In the loose language of common parlance we talk of doing things against the will, which is impossible, what is meant being that we do the thing reluctantly, but the will must be in the act, whatever it may be.

A man with a pistol at his head gives up his purse to a robber. It is his will to lose his money rather than his life. His will conforms to a necessity against his disposition.

Dr Black adopts the new doctrine of an uncontrollable impulse. Of impulses uncontrolled we have all our ample knowledge, but who but a mad doctor can pretend to penetrate the inscrutable, and to have a knowledge of the uncontrollable? None but the Searcher of hearts can be in that secret. In a lunatic asylum, what is the proportion of patients treated as beyond control and only to be restrained by force? and small as the proportion may be, it is not certain that those diseased minds are uncontrollable, but only that the means of controlling

[graphic]

and institutions preserved in the Edict of Gulhani shall

them have not been discovered. But the present question

;is not of raging madness, but of the degree of disorder that

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

A man who gratifics a passion, hatred, lust, or cupidity, accepting all consequences rather than forego the vicious enjoyment within his reach, will say that the temptation was too much for him, and beyond control; but the law makes an example of him, that his punishment may serve to deter others from yielding up self-control to criminal indulgence. The convict Townley passed judgment on himself in the words, “ I have murdered her, and shall be hanged," and after helping to lay the body yet warm in the kitchen, he went up to tea with the murdered woman’s next of kin. That there was great irrationality in this, and in the language of the man, it is easy to show, but it is a mistake to confound irrationality with insanity. Assume, however, that crime is the perfection of reason, and impunity is to be claimed for all these acts against the laws of God and man which have in them any sort of irrationality. Othello’s excuse for himself was that he had loved not wisely, and it would be easy to show in every crime some default of reason; but let that pass for insanity, and all the gaols should forthwith be turned into lunatic asylums.

And, indeed, once admit the plea of uncontrollable impulse, and it must be as valid or invalid for offences against the person and property as for crimes of blood. The ravisher must have the benefit of uncontrollable impulse; the garotter; the thief who snatches a jewel from a shopwindow; certainly the starving wretch who steals a leaf, and perhaps the pauper who fires a stack of corn to obtain the comforts of a convict prison.

In all times there has been the fiction of some necessity for involuntary crime. In antiquity there were the Fates, superior to the gods in ruling the destinies of men. In the middle ages the stars had to answer for all human iniquities. Well says Moliére’s Argante in reply to the plea of destiny: “Ah! Ah! Voici une raison la plus “belle du monde. On n’a plus qu’h commetre tous les “crimes imaginables, tromper, voler, assassiner, et dire, “ pour excuse qu'on y a été poussé par sa destineé." The French more latterly discovered the force of circumstances to be the prime cause of offence. And our mad doctors, changing the external for the internal, call it uncontrollable impulse, the impunity allowed to which is too certain to appear in multiplied crimes of uncontrolled impulses.

To our great astonishment we learn that the judge who tried Townley, though directing and approving the verdict of the jury, advised a farther inquiry to ascertain whether or not the prisoner was insane. For this a sort of new trial was directed by a Commission, with the change, merely verbal in the issue, of mad or not mad, instead of guilty or not guilty. N o matter how upright may be the intentions of persons entrusted with such an inquiry, the serious fact that a life depends on it will have a subtle influence on the judgment. The prisoner knows how to play his part, and so to raise doubts, the benefit of which will certainly be given to him.

But if this course is to be taken at last, would it not be better for the credit of justice, and fairer for its administrators, that it should be taken at first? If the inquiry whether Townley was insane or not had preceded the inquiry whether he was or was not guilty of murder, a carefully considered verdiet would not have been nullified, and a Criminal Court stultified.

Can we expect jurors to devote their time and best attention to questions of fact involving life or death when they know that the result of their most careful labours may be set aside by a private Commission? Will they not naturally be disposed to save themselves trouble and to come to a hasty conclusion, as there is sure to be another inquiry reversing their decision?

And that is not all; Medical authority is prevailing against the authority of the law, and criminal justice is losing more and more of its certainty.

A man who has had any mad ancestors may consider himself privileged to commit murder without any fear of the gallows, for he has only to play a very easy part afterwards, though it may be proved beyond a doubt that he knew what he was about, and he will have the benefit of the theory of uncontrollable impulse. What benefit of clergy used to be benefit of medical crotchets is now. How it is that any bloodstained prisoner is mad enough not to pass himself off for mad is what we cannot comprehend.

THE STREET TORTURE.

Msanaoaooorr Brazen—Antonio Capatali, an organ-player, was charged with annoying Mr J. F. Stanford, barrister, of Langhlm place, by playing an organ in front of his house.

Mr Stanford said, yesterday afternoon the defendant played his

[graphic]

organ in front of his house in Langham place. he was engaged in literary occupation, he was much annoyed by organ-players. He requested the prisoner to go away, and after a few minutes he went awa , but came back again and played his organ at the other side of the ouse. Being desirous of making an example of the prisoner, in order that he might be freed in future from the nuisance, he gave him into custody. The prisoner became very violent and got a mob l round the door, and he then procured the assistance of a second constable, and the prisoner was removed to the station.

[graphic]
[graphic]

.\lr Knox asked the complainant if he was engaged in an occupation which rendered silence necessary.

Mr Stanford said he was.

Mr Knox said the requirements of the Act were “ illness or any reasonable cause." The complainant had shown a “reasonable” “"80.

Police-constable Collins said the prisoner was not playing the organ when given into custody. He was sitting on his organ, and when iven into custody he became very violent.

Mr nox said the organ-players were a most. abominable nuisance, there could be no doubt about that; but the question was whether the prisoner was rightly in custody, or not. Had the prisoner been playing when the constable came up, he would have been justified in taking him into custody. The right course for the complainant to pursue would be to take out a summons against the prisoner.

But how is a summons to be taken out? How is the vagabond’s name and place of abode to be found out? He will always stop when a policeman appears, and where, then, is the remedy? How is it to be found out what his name is, and where he lives? Several magistrates have convicted upon the complainant's statement that the organgrinder did not cease to make his detestable noise when required, and Mr Knox might very safely have done the same; indeed, there is no other way of repressing the nuisance, and Mr Stanford justly observed:

If the Act was to be strictly construed and carried out there would be no protection for him, because, when annoyed, the moment he went for a constable the men would put down their organs and pretend they ware not playing then. The organmen came at half-past nine in the morning and continued playing all day long, either in front or at the back of his house. He was annoyed almost as much as Mr Babbage, and he found it equally difficult to wage war with those men.

Mr Knox was most anxious to relieve the complainant, and, indeed, all who were similarl aggrieved; but he wished to do so in strict accordance with the aw. He would, therefore, grant a summons, and if the man did not appear he would grant a warrant.

The man was then discharged.

This certainly looks very much like putting salt on the bird’s tail. And had indeed must be the law which can only be carried out by 0 round-about, uncertain, and clumsy a mode of proceeding.

We trust the Act will be amended next Session, for as it stands itmakes protection against annoyance exceptional, and given up the thoroughfares generally to any persons who can profit by making a noise in them, either in the way of extortion or of pleasing those who happen to he possessed of asses’ ears.

Why is reasonable cause of objection required to an unreasonable use of the streets, which are not intended for orchestras? Suppose a set of vagabonds were to turn the front of your house into a stage, would or should that he suffered ? and just as little permissible it really is, in point of principle, to convert it to a place for any other sort of performance. The streets should be kept to their right; uses, and are so in all well-regulated cities. In Paris street music is not allowed at all. The misleading fallacy here lies in the word music. Music, delightful as it is in season, is not desirable every hour from sunrise to midnight; but what torments us is not music, nor anything like music. The organ is an instrument of torture to musical ears, and the Worse it is the more profitable it is, either by extortion or by pleasing tho vulgarest taste. In I’unch’s Almanack there is an excellent illustration of both the pain and pleasure given by this detestable instrument. You see the alarm in the face of the sweet sorrowing figure by the sufl'erer’s bedside, and you see the broad stamp of vulgarity on the coarse woman and the pinched-up girl, without humanity, but with a taste for “ them horgins.” And here we must acknowledge the obligation to Punch for the war it wages with this nuisance, which is more likely to be abated by the ridicule of the pencil than by the plaints of the pen. It is by making the supporters of the organs ashamed of themselves that the nuisance will be most effectually suppressed. But the brass bands should not be spared. Apollo knew what he was about when he gavo Midas the ears of an ass, and to such ears the braying of brass bands is a kindred, congenial sound. But the ass has it not all. It is not all bray. The pig has its share, in the alternations of squeak and grunt.

And against this music of a herd of swine you are required to show reasonable cause of objection, dislike or distaste not being admitted as valid. But surely we have all a right to claim quiet, as much quiet; at least as consists with the necessary traflic and business of the streets, no part of which is blowing horns or grinding organs.

READY SUSPICION.

A respectable married Woman in Glasgow had occasion to go out early in the morning with a basket under her arm, on the 11th of last month. She was seen by two policemen, watchful against burglars, who chose to consider a woman with a basket under her shawl, early on a winter’s morning, a just object of suspicion. They followed her, and as they themselves say in their own defence, “when she saw them following her she wrap“ped her shawl more tightly round her, and looked “about her, as they thought, suspiciously.” For wrapping her shawl morc tightly about her as she walked through the December morning air, and for not keeping her head still, this unlucky woman suffered several days' imprisonment at the hands of a discrimi

[graphic]

nating Glasgow police. First she was accosted by the

constables, and asked what she had in her basket; she told them “ it was some articles that she had got the day “ before in Greenock," and she showed them to her questioners. After that, when they proceeded to cross-question her, the gross imputation implied in their questioning moved her to wrath, and she began to scold. Therefore, she was hauled away through the streets to the lockup, “ and was wrongously and falsely charged as a “thief, a robber, or a houscbreuker, and locked “ up and imprisoned in a cell, and detained there “ till the morning of the following day, and brought “up and placed at the bar of the Central Police “ Court, charged as aforesaid; and having been liberated, “ was again detained till Wednesday, the 16th, when she “ was finally discharged." She was unlawfully imprisoned, therefore, for five days. For this wrong she brought action of damages in the Small Debt Court. The damages awarded by the sheriff were a guinea from each of the constables, and a guinea from the officer on duty at the police-station who took the charge that was no charge and, upon what we cannot call the strength of it ordered the housewife, who had been so rash as to go out of doors with a basket on her arm, to be locked up.

[graphic]

To so light a fine it becomes necessary that the weight of a little public censure should be added. The constables; in the streets did, indeed, grossly exceed their duty, but] they perhaps were sufficiently punished. The ordinary' police-constable is a man taken from the less educated side of society, he has no highly-trained powers of discrimina~ tion, is bound to be very watchful, and at night or early on a winter's morning has not much light to help him in discerning the true character of anybody he may think it requisite to watch. The common result is that in London, as in Glasgow, he reduces his duty to the general formula of suspecting anybody who, between sunset and sunrise, is seen in the streets carrying a basket, bag, or any form of bundle. Even in London a respectable man a-foot at dawn with a bag in his hand is likely to be

[graphic]

watched, and if his haste cause him to run, is very liable to be chased, and to have the policeman’s bull's-eye brought to bear upon his baggage. It is to the credit of the London police that the men very seldom indeed persist‘ too far on a false scent after any householder, however humble, although we believe that even in London the number is great of oppressive arrests of unfriended and desolate women.

But there is no town in this country where such a gross mistake as that made in this case by the Glasgow street police should be endorsed by the inspector at tho policestation without bringing down upon him consequences much more serious than a guinea fine. There was no warrant of imprisonment, and no charge but of the most trumpery suspicion. A messenger sent up the street to the woman’s husband would have disposed even of that, if it had been worth while to entertain at all suspicion so unfounded. But the woman was locked up for a whole day and night, without further inquiry, before she was brought before the police magistrate; and what is yet worse, after he had dismissed the charge, she was detained still as a prisoner from Saturday to Wednesday. Surely the learned sheriff was mild in his censure of so gross a defiance by the police of the most simple rights of the citizen, when to the light fine on a police inspector who had dealt with liberty of the subject so much after the independent way of an old Neapolitan sbirro, he added a censure that sounds like a compliment :

As to the case against the defender George Phillips the Sharilfatatod that he was astonished that such an experienced officer sbould not have

given that time and attention to this particular case, and have used his usual discrimination in judging of its merits, because, from long experi

ence, his lordship knew that there was not a more able and attentive , . . . are an innovation, and were not in

officer in the whole police force ; but in this case be considered that Mr Phillips was to blame in not looking after the interests of the pursaer, and allowing her to lie so long in prison after he had got her in his custody.

THE DANISH QUESTION.

We rather regret that the English Government has joined Russia in advising the Danes to suspend the constitution of November, which was simply a drawing together between Denmark Proper and Slesvig of those threads of connexion which had been loosened by the act of excluding Holstein from the common constitution. Apart from all technicalities, the simple statement of the case is this. Before 1848 all subjects of the King of Denmark were the subjects of an absolute, irresponsible sovereign. The movements of that year produced a change to constitutional government in in the state of Denmark, which has proved valid and substantial, not the mockery of constitutionalism adopted by the German Sovereigns. First Denmark alone had the constitution, granted. It was promised also to Slesvig and Holstein, and was afterwards duly given to them by an act of the king’s will. But the result of this was a binding together of Holstein with Slesvig and Denmark by the tie of a liberty that is the usual guarantee of order and content.

This did not suit the German agitators. On the plea that Holstein had got what they had professed to want for it, in a way for which they had not bargained, they made the preposterous demands that we described last week. Denmark was ready to the utmost to comply with the demands made by or for Holstein, reasonable or unreasonable. The Holsteiners are Germans. Holstein was an old fief of the German empire, while Slesvig, once South Jutland, is and has always been held under the Crown of Denmark. If Holstein could be cut away from Denmark

[graphic]

them. But Fatherland has dreams not to be satisfied with Holstein if there cannot be filched from the Dane his own Duchy of Slesvig too. Well, in compliance with the latest form of outcry Denmark, which had left to Slesvig and to Holstein all the local rights peculiarto each, while gathering them under its own liberal constitution, obeyed the will of Germany by cutting away Holstein from the constitution and even allowing to that Duchy power to create for itself complete and absolute autonom . The rent made by that act in the technical machinery o the common Constitution had to be made sound again by a revised constitution, which was simply the old one adapted to the narrowed limits of its operation, and left every right formerly existing in Slesvig porfectly untouched. For Germany to demand the repeal of this Constitution also, and the complete disorganization of the Danish kingdom is preposterous.

The Diet has exactly as much right to interfere in the strictly domestic affairs of this country, and demand that England shall repeal the Act of Union with Ireland. With Denmark and with Slesvig, that at no period of history was an appanagc to the German Empire, Germany has no right whatever to interfere. There have undoubtedly been German princes who were Dukes at once of Slesvig and of Holstein. But they held Slesvig under Denmark, Holstein under Germany. For Holstein and Lauenburg alone is the King of Denmark represented in the Federal Diet. To advise the Danes, therefore, that for the sake of removing all possible occasions for war, they should concede to Germany a right of dictation over their own soil, is to advise what will increase instead of abating German eagerness for the prey sought in all this mock negotiation, and is to advise Denmark to a course what it would be pretty nearly, or altogether, treason for an Englishman to advise England herself to follow.

JUDGES' ASSIZE QUARTERS.

It seems that the Judges of Assize have been accustomed at Cambridge, from time immcmorial, or at least for a very considerable period, to take possession, as a matter of right, of the house of the Master of Trinity for the period of the assizes. The Master, not admitting this right, and as a protest against the claim, has been in the habit of sending a formal invitation to the Judges on their entering the county. And the Judges, we are informed, as a counter protest, always return for answer that “they intend to “comc to Trinity." This, of itself, is a very unseemly position for her Majesty's Judges on the one hand, and for the Master of the leading College of Cambridge on the other. But, putting this out of the question, we think that the custom itself is a bad one, and should, therefore, be put an end to. As ageneral rule, the Judges, during the exercise of their circuit duties, ought to have their own independent dwelling at each assize town, and should not be billoted on any rson, high or low, whether in the town or county. 0 know that partiality on the part of any of these functionaries is out of the question,—impossible. But it ought to be equally impossible that partiality should be hinted at, or silently surmised. And yet, suppose an action tried at. the assizes between the Master of Trinity, or the College itself, and a tradesman in the town, or a farmer in the country, and decided in favour of the Master or College? The Judge ought not to place himself in a position, in which the righteousness of his decision or direction can by possibility be called in question by any one, whether instructed or ignorant.

The objection made the other day, if we are rightly informed, was on the ground that the winter circuits contemplation when the custom was introduced; and that the Master of Trinity ought not to ho saddled with this additional burtheu, even supposing the right to exist as regards the Spring and Summer Assizes. And when we reflect that the Judge actually takes possession of the Lodge, introducing the circuit cook and other servants, and entertaining the Grand Jury and the Bar at dinner on their respective days, we can scarcely feel surprised that the Master should object to this third infliction. But we should be glad to see the custom extinguished on the broader and more public ground, to which we have alluded. We understand that Mr Baron Martin was ultimately admitted at Trinity; but that the matter has been referred to high legal authorities for final decision.

[blocks in formation]
[graphic]

and the Germans could take the Duchy, absorb it into Fatherland, and be content, Denmark would give it

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]

dorrespnnhma.

THE ALDERSHOTT INQUIRY.

Sir,—Amoug lawyers it is a common saying, “that a blot is not a blot until it is hit 3" in this case there were three blots, viz., two lesser and one larger. The country has been put to an enormous expense in the bringing over officers and men to speak to what P—the two smallest blots—and the in uiry occupied twenty-one days.

f the large blot had been submitted to an English judge and jury, it would not have occupied half-a-dozen hours ; and only three witnesses need have been brought from India, viz., Major-General Farrell, Sir William Mansfield, and the Regimental Sur eon, because the other medical testimony would have been 0 tained in England, who would have detailed the effect of avitiated atmosphere on the respiration of a prisoner confined as Lilley was.

If Major-General Farrell and Sir William Mansfield had been called they must have told what it was, and at whose instance they were induced to sign the two orders which sheltered the prisoner at Aldershott; that the whole of the circumstances were known at the Horse Guards is shown by the memorandum of the Duke of Cambridge, Dec. 18, 1862. His Royal Highness says :

There are other poinfs in Lieutenant-Colonel Crowley's conduct qf which his Royal Highness cannot speak in too strong terms. Ilia Royal Highness alludes to lhe confincmmt. under arrest, of certain non-commissioned qflicers during the trial, under a charge of conspiracy, which was never attempted to Improved against them, and for which there seems not to have been a shadow of foundation. His Royal Highness has also reason to believe that, had the Commander-in-Chief in India been better acquainted with some of the facts of Sergeant-Major Lilley’s case, he would have taken a different view of it from that which his remarks prove him to have done, and would not have attributed the death of that unfortunate non-commissioned qflicer lo excess.

It is not too late for Parliament to order that right shall be done by the laws of England. If a. court-martial order a man to be flog ed where they have no jurisdiction, and the flogging kills t e man, the members who concurred in that or er are guilty of murder.—(Pcr Heath J ., 4 Taunt. 77.)

So, if by duress of im risonment a prisoner die, it is murder in the gaoler. And t is duress is said to be inflicted on every one, that by the usage of his keeper is brought nearer to death and further from life; and therefore it is said not to be material whether it proceeds from the neglect and carelessness of the gaolcr, or from any actual violence, and may be effected by confining the prisoner too closely in a noiome place—See Bacon’s Abridgment, vol. v, page 753. Seventh edition.

See State Trials, Huggins' case, vol. xvii, page 375.

It is highly important, and devolves on the House of Commons, to see Whether the law has been lawfully carried out. What is the use of Articles of War or Acts of Parliament if they are to be disregarded and trampled under foot P— and then comes the consideration, whether, in disregarding the law, a high crime and misdemeanor has or has not been committed. V.

Hyde-park terrace.

[graphic][merged small]

Sir,—Is it possible that this sham Court-Martial can end thus? I cannot believe that we are so far debased as to lose all interest in defence of the o pressed. It is, and always has been, in all ages, the object ofprulera to get rid of what they are pleased to call the unmanageable—men who cannot, and will not, stoo to servility. although they daily see that this is the only la der b which they can reach distinction.

\Vhat enabled t e French army to gain such signal victories but the rewarding of merit wherever it was to be found—that a soldier's friend would not suffer himself to be encumbered with the cursed upas tree of aristocracy. Let the old non-commissioned men come forward and speak out the truth, and nothing but the truth, and subscribe their mite to the poor old man as some recompense for the loss of a. son whose Regiment was so proud of him. I send my mitc, 10s., as a beginning. I am, &c.,

Os's wno was DanLiin 1798,

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

Sir,—We have heard much, during the last year, of the duty of resigning offices under certain circumstances. We have been told by the Bishop of London that if a man comes to any conclusion not consistent with the teaching of the Church of England, he ought to throw up any ecclesiastical preferment w 'ch he may chance to hold : and the Bishops, as a body, have agreed in requesting the Bishop of Natal to resign his see, because they think he has contravened this teaching.

But it will be allowed—or rather eagerly asserted—by their opponents, that if the authors of ' Essays and Reviews,’ or if Bishop Colenso, refuse to yield to such pressure, it is because they wish to widen the terms of communion in the English Church, not to narrow them. They wish to rest thoseterms less on a dogmatic basis, than on a living faith in aLivin God. Whether right or wrong, they stand on a very d erent ground from those who avow their desire to uphold or create stringent barriers, beyond which freedom 0 thought is not to be allowed. To this party Dr Wordsworth prcfessedly belongs. Like Archdeacon Denison and others who hold the some views, he has been very much gained and shocked at the a pointmcnt of Dr Stanley as

eanofthe Church of which a is a Canon. He implies pretty plainly that he looks on Dr Stanley as every great

erotic, or, at the least, that his published books contain a great deal of heres ; and he writes as though, in his belief, the Sanctuary of estminster must be defiled by Dr Stanley‘s resence m the Deaconal stall. But he strives to reconcile imselfto this disagreeable sight by the convenient fiction that in making his subscriptions on admission into office, Dr Stanley will virtually retract all his hcresies, explicit or implicit. Now, people in eneral know that this is a fiction; and until he hosts that Stanley intends bisects so to be

construed, Dr Wordsworth has no right to maintain that his
charitable hypothesis is anything more than a. fiction. He
has placed himself in an uncomfortable position: but his
duty is lain. He has made a protest: but he must not
confine himself merely to protests. If Dr Stanley, not
0 enly disavowing those positions to which Dr Wordsworth
objects, is inducted into the Deanery of Westminster, then
Dr Wordsworth ought to resign his Canonry. He will then,
at least, have from all Englishmen the full credit of honest
sincerity. If he is not prepared to do this, what justification
is to be found for the re nests of resignation which various
parties in the Church of ngland seem fond of interchanging?
I am, Sir, faithfull yours,
assarriin ANGLICANUB-

[graphic][merged small]

Sir—Can any of your readers suggest a satisfactory explanation of the unusual delay of the Committee of the Priv Council in giving judgment in the cases of Wilson v. Fenda , and Williams v. the Bishop of Salisbury? The Court~ Martial u on Colonel Crawley, a far more numerous body, announced) their decision almost immediately; why should two clergyman, whose case has been so amply discussed, be kept in uncertainty 2 If the decision is to be against them, they should know the worst; if in their favour, they should be promptly relieved from their anxiety; to say nothing of the number of persons, clerical and lay, who are waiting to know from their lordships whether on such points as the nature and extent of tho Inspiration of the Scriptures, and the nature and duration of punishment in the world to come, opinion is as free to the clergy of the Church of England as the appellants contend, or as rigidly fettcrcd as their prosecu— tors have alleged—I am, &c., X. Y. Z.

December 28, 1863.

[graphic]

THE CON DEMN ED COURT-MARTIAL.
[From the Globe]

If the result of the late Court-martial at Aldershott is looked upon,
in some respects at lcasi, as a failure of justice, we may come to the
conclusion that it is next to impossible for any court-martial of an
important character to have a satisfactory conclusion. It was got
up with the greatest care. The charges were framed with due deli-
beration by those whose official position apparently made them the
most competent to frame them. The prosecution was conducted under
the eye of the authorities, as well as the eye of the public. None of
those lapses took place which may be looked upon as ordinary incidents
in atrial taking place in a di-taot locality, and conducted by men
new to the work. If the Aldershott Court-martial was bad in any
respect, the system itself must be bad. Those looking at the proceed-
ings with competent and careful eyes will have little difficulty in
settling both questions in the affirmative, and we may at once express
a hope that Colonel Crawley's trial may be the last of the kind we
are destined to witness under the present system.

Putting aside the pmlixity of the proceedings caused by the necessity of writing down every question and answer, under which the useful institution of shorthan is altogether ignored, one of the first things likely to strike the obserVer is, that most of the leading personage-s are misplaced, and are asked to perform functions for which their experience and professional position have given them no qualification. Thus Mr Denison, being a barrister, is asked to do what is the work of a solicitor—namely, to get up the case, sift the evidence beforehand, and instruct the counsel. Sir Alfred Horsford, being a very gallant soldier, is asked to fill the place of the counsel thus briefed by Mr Denison. The Acting Judge Advocate-General, or legal judge, who has to direct the Court upon questions of law and evidence, instead of being a man ofmagiaterialhabits, is also a soldier. The Judge Advocate, the person who reviews the proceedings and advises ber Majesty upon them, is the referee of the Court, and has, unassisted, to review his own decisions. The Court, which is nothing if it is not competent, honestly declares itself incompetent, and in its diflicultii's, asks to be directed by the last court of appeal—the same Judge Advocate-General. The Deputy, who would constitute this last court of appeal were his chief abscnt or ill, appearsas solicitor on the side of the prosecution. Almost every one of the prominent actors is cast for a part altogether out of his line.

We should be sorry to say one word unduly reflecting upon those engaged in the prosecution or the trial of Colonel Crawley, and if we at once tell them that they failed to give satisfaction we mean no more reflection than if we pronounced them unable to make watches or to play the violoncello. They were put to do that which they had never learned to do, which it was not their business to do, and the result may be embodied in the familiar word—muddle. When a Venerable and gallant old soldier like Sir George Wetberall says, from the President's chair, “We do not know much of the laws of evidence in couris-martial—we only want to arrive at \he truth," we do not

[graphic]

seek to lessen by one atom the respect which his years and services
so deservedly inspire, in making the remarks that such an observation
requires, namely, that an acquaintance with the laws of evidence is I
one of the first and most important requisites in any court of law, and I
that so far from being antagonistic to the best means of arriving atl
the truth, these laws are simply the reduction to rule and formula of1
the means which the experience of ages and the testimony of the‘
wisest men have pointed out as the simplest, shortest, and safest
means of arriving at the truth. Can we feel surprised at any
decision of a court of law which thus describes itself through its
President? Can we wonder at the marvellous illegalilios by which
the Aldershott inquiry was marked P Can we wonder that the public
who apply law and logic and reason to the institution condemn it?
Or that the outside public shake their heads, and are dissatisfied ?
\Ve do not say a word of censure as regards the members of the
Court, and we are equally disinclined to blame the prosecution, not-
withstanding certain manifest failings. We shall put aside the
spokesmen on each side, and take those who are really responsible
for what was spoken—Mr Denison, on the one side, and Mr Har-
court on the other. We find the difference between the two well
exemplified in their respective addresses. Mr Denison delivered to
the Court a closely reasoned, logical, and we think, notwithstanding
all that is cried out to the contrary, in lllO main a very conclusive
analysis of the facts essential to a conviction. Mr Harcourt did not
pay the same respect to the tribunal, for he evidently sought to work
upon their feelings by n kind of Old Bailey speech, which is the nor-
mal means of brazening out a lame case. Mr Harcourt, be it said
Without offence, seemed to gauge his audience better than Mr Deni-
son, for he succeeded. The speeches indicate the conduct of the case
on both sides. Mr Denison thought that if he could prove certain
few facts essential to the issue his case was safe and a conviction
imminent. And possibly, therefore, he omitted to press certain
points and drive home certain inconsistencies of statement, and
admitted certain things as evidence, none of which would have hap-
pened if he thought his task less easy. Mr Harcourt, on the con-
trary, evidently went upon the old theory that everything uttered
duringa trial, in effect goes to the jury. It may be not relevant
or legal, and it may be instantaneously rejected, but someimpression

[graphic]
[graphic]

arising from it is apt to remain upon the minds of those who

hear. Consequently he put forward facts and opinions b no meanl bearing on the case. Sir Hugh Rose’s opinion, Colonel atch’s opinion, given months afterwards, were of no more value than Mr Harcourt‘s opinion, and yet they were calmly recorded on the proceedings. Other statements equally irrelevant wese ushered in with great flourish. The absence of a document which could not he made public in accordance with official rules, was turned to great account, and it was insisted upon that it could prove what the prisoner required. Strong and persistent allusions were made to mutiny and conspiracy in the regiment, necessitating harsh measures—in fact, in the prisoner’s address his case was boldly put upon the ground of mutiny or no mutiny—where not a tittle of evidence was adduced to show that there was either conspiracy or mutiny. The counsel for the prisoner evidently felt that he mi ht do exacily as be pleased ; for his defence consisted of a wholesaie bold and persistent assertion of everything likely to assist his client's case, whether it was evidence or might have been evidence, or was suggested as evidence, or was rrjcclcd as evidence. A Court whose procedure allows such irregularities cannot expect to find its decisions received with respect, and we trust that before long steps will be taken to bring the trial of military officers by their peers to something approaching the simple and satisfactory condition of the proceedings in outer courts of law.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Dr Colenso confines himself in this part to a critical examination of the historical matter in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. The part forms an independent work, which may be read by any one who now wishes to know for himself what is the head and front of the Bishop of Natal's offending. We think that it will appear to many dispassionato readers, howaver for they may be from assenting to all the deductions of the argument, that Dr Colenso, who has been the mark for much vilification and has not flinchcd from discussion, still retains the credit of having kept his case clear of all evil-speaking. He has never suffered himself to be provoked to an unchristian word, or a word that can rankle in the mind of an antagonist after the heat shall have passed out of the debate. It is quite true that to an angry man there is, at the moment, something bitter in complete forbearance; and there are some of his antagonists who seem practically bent upon making it another sign of Dr Colenso’s want of orthodoxy that he does not argue passionately and revile when he should reason. One other noticeable fact—wholly apart from any question as to the worth of his theological criticism—is the distinctness with which Dr Colenso has always drawn the line between reverent acceptance of the spiritual teaching of the Old Testament, and a free examination of the degree to which its earliest books may be considered literal narratives of historical events. His chief offence is that he has acted upon a just opinion widely, if not almost universally, held in the Church, but held usually as passive opinion. Yet even in that form it is not seldom expressed well and emphatically, as in the following passage, which Dr Colenso quotes, with others, from the recent charge of the Bishop of St David's.

Bishop Thirlwall adds, p. 123: “A great part of the events related in the Old Testament has no more apparent connection with our religion than those of Greek and Roman history . . . The history, so far as it is a narrative of civil and political transactions, has no essential connection with any religious truth; and if it had been lost, though we should have been left in ignorance of much that we desired to know, our treasure of Christian doctrine would have remained whole and unimpaired. The numbers, migrations, wars, battles, conquests, and reverses, of Israel, have nothing in common with the teaching of Christ, with the way of salvation, with the fruits of the Spirit. They belong to a totally difi'ercnt order of subjects. They are not to be confounded with the spiritual revelation contained in the Old Testament, much less with that fulncss of grace and truth, which came by Jesus Christ. Whatever knowledge we may Oblain of them, is, in a religious point of view, a matter of absolute indifference to us ; and, if they ware placed on a levrl with the saving truths of the Gospel, they would gain nothing in intrinsic dignity, but would only degrade that with which they are thus associated. Such an association may indeed exist in the minds of pious and even learned men: but it is only by means of an artificial chain of reasoning, which does not carry conviction to all beside. Such questions must be left to every one's private judgment and feeling, which have the fullest right to decide for each, but not to impose their decisions, as the dictate of an infallible authority, on the consciences of others. Any attempt to erect such facts into arlicles of faith would be fraught with danger of irreparable evil to the Church, as well as with immediate hurt to numberless souls."

Few men are more heartily entitled to the respect of the Church than Mr Perowne, who, aghast at finding himself courteoust cited by Dr Colenso in his Preface as an authority against belief in a universal deluge, has this week written an injudicious and unnecessary letter to the Times. Mr Perowne is not really misrepresented. Nothing was more natural than for Dr Colenso to illustrate opinion in the Church by pointing to the fact that in Dr Smith's ‘Dictionary of the Bible,’ when you turn to “Deluge,” you are referred to “ Flood," and when you turn to “Flood,” you are referred to Noah, the postponement being commonly attributed to the difficulty of getting an article worthy of the book that should not seem dangerous to somebody. And after all, when the article appeared, from the pen of Mr Pcrowne, the notion of a Universal Deluge was abandoned in the following passage, which Dr Colcnso quotes, with the comment which we leave appended to it:

" It is not only the inadequate size of the ark to contain all, or anything like all the progenitors of our existing species of animal-3 which is conclusive against an universal Deluge. . . It is true that Noah is told to take two ‘of every living thing of all flesht’ but that could only mean two of every animal the» [crown to him, unless we suppose him to have had supernatural information in zoology imparted,~—a thing quite incredible. . . Again, how were the carnivorous animals supplied with food during their twelve months' abode in the ark P This would have been difficult even for the very limited number of wild animals in N oah’a immediate neighbourhood

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

For the very large numbers, which the theory of a universal Deluge when Mendelsmhn was in his twenty-Jonrth year, we this, and if they are even moderately applauded or flattered, they

[ocr errors]

recourse to miracle, and either maintain that they were miraculously _ sup lied with food, or that, for the time being, the nature of their , _ _ to rank inc among the leadersof this movement, when I well know ble to live on hlmself from the accusatlon 0f ROI? hilllllg gone to he? a , that, for thorough self-cultivation, the whole of a man's life is required

, and giving very good reasons why (and often does not suffice); and also because no Frenchman, and

test and stomach was changed, so that they were a _ vegetables. But these hypotheses are so extravagant, and so utterly certain Madame B _ I a 3 no newspaper, knows or ever can know what the future is to give or ,to bring; and, in order to guide the movements of others, we must

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

that, if it rested on Ararat at all, it must have been upon the summit. I have shown, however, in chap. xx of this Part that a partial Deluge,

of the kind here described, is quite as impossible as a general our. “ ensues in every variety of minor key,
There is no use, therefore, in twisting the plain meaning of the “with 811 my might; then follows the farce of IEin‘

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

with her piano, and a concert and I must applaud

Scripture, to make it say what to the “ wayfaring man " it certainly , u s Standchen ‘01, dem Potsdam“, Thor’s and I am ex_

does not say. But I doubt if any article could be written upon the Deluge in this day,—by any one who desired to maintain some character as a man of science or, indeed, of common scnse,—morc

fore, I presume, a most unexceptionabla witness.

“ pected to laugh. No! This I cannot stand, and these

“ are the reasons why I do not deserve your censure." l conservative than that which Mr Perowne has written. Ila is there- Towards the close of the year, being established as musicalj lsupcrintendent of the Dusseldorf Theatre, he writes to hisv

The Bishop of Natal thus expressly tells his readers that sister, Rebecca Dirichlet, to describe the difficulties that he cites Mr Pcrowne—wliom he distinguishes also as “ one lay in his way, and speaks of one of those obstacles which do not know whether you are aware that more especially for some

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

We, then, Ministers of the Church of England,—-lllinis‘.ers, not of a medimval, but of a Reformed Protestant Cliurch,—aro at once both exercising our right, and discharging our duty, in declaring to our people, as opportunity shall offer, “ the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," on these matters. so far as we already know it.

And, when all Europe is moving on with the advance of the age, we must refuse, as the clergy of a great National Institution, to be held in fetters by the mere word of any man, or to be forbidden to search out thoroughly the truth, in respect of these questions of science and criticism, and to speak out plainly the truth which we find.

For instance, while drawing from these first chapters of Genesis such religious lessons as may be fairly and naturally drawn from them (161), we may proceed to show how we here possess, by the gracious gift of God's overruling Providence, a precious treasure in these most ancient writings, some parts of which are, beyond all doubt, as we believe, among the most ancient now extant in the world. For we have here preserved to us a most deeply interesting and instructive record of those first stirrings of spiritual life among the Hebrew people, which prepared the way for the fuller Revelation, in God's due time, of His Fatherly Love, in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, —-from which also, by the quickeninginfluences of the Spirit of Grocr, has been d evsloped by degrees our modern Cbristianity,—not without contributimns from the gifts bestowed on other porli-ma of the great Human Family, as the same good Spirit has been rt-Vcaling all along the Name of their Creator to the hearts of men, “ at sundry times and in divers scanners," by different means, in different measures, among the various races of mankind.

And then, too, while tracing in these chapters the first imperfect beginnings among the Hebrew people of cosmological, astronomical, geographical, ethnological, science, we may say plainly that the accounts of the Creation, &c., there given, cannot possibly be regarded as historically true, since the results of Modern Science emphatically contradict them. But we may go on to say also that Science itself is God’s precious gift, light coming from the Father of Lights, and specially coming in greater splendour in this very age in which we live, and given to us by His Grace in order that, by means of it, we may see more clearly than before His Glory and His Goodness.

We have taken no part whatever in the theological argument raised by Dr Colenso in these books. We simply see in him an honest man, who puts himself to a very great deal of trouble and pain, that he may do what his conscience tells him to do, and speak fearlessly what he believes to be a truth. He may be very wrong in his opinions, but he is right in saying what he thinks, and saying it to as many people and with as much emphasis as he can, if he believes it to be important. A man however wrong in his views who thus, honestly and in spite of discouragement, speaks as he thinks and asks to be set right if he be wrong, doing this courteously and without meeting even fierce abuse with a harsh word, has a right to a respectful hearing and a calm, sufficient demonstration of his errors. Every word of mere abuse given in place of clear, truth-knowing argument by men of high authority in the Church, has only served as a nail to fasten the opinions declared unorthodox upon the country.

Letters of Felix Mendelssohn Bariholdy, front 1833 to 1847. Edited by Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy, of Berlin, and Dr Carl Mendelssohn Bartholdy, of Heidelberg. With a Catalogue of all his Musical Compositions, compiled by Dr Julius Rietz. Translated by Lady Wallace. Longmans.

The second series of Mendelssohn's Letters is notless interesting than the first. It is true that the subjects discussed in the present collection are, on the whole, more especially adapted to musical than to general readers, but everywhere the some charm prevails, everywhere we see the reflection of the same pure and healthy mind. These letters, say the editors in their brief preface, “ commence “ directly after the termination of the former volume, and “extend to Mendelssohn’s death. They accompany him " through the most; varied relations of his life and vocation, “ and thus lay claim, at. least. partially, to another kind of " interest from that of the period of the gay, though not “ insignificant enjoyment depicted by him in the letters “ written during his travels." The value of all collections of this kind is best shown by extracts, and as we pass liglhtly through the volume we shall cite those passages w ich tend most to exhibit the character of the gifted composer.

The present series dates from the beginning of 1833,

[ocr errors]

complained to me of his dilemma; the Burgomastcr had said that though his predecessor was evangelical, and perfectly satisfied with the music, he intended himself to form part of the procession, and

[ocr errors]

had hitherto been to best time. \Vhen he came, and they attacked him, he declared that be neither could nor would have better music ; if any improvement was required, some one else must be employed; that he knew perfectly what vast pretensions some people made nowa-days, everything was expected to sound so beautiful ; this had not been the case in his day, and he played just as well now as formerly. I was really very reluctant to take the affair out of his hands, though there could be no doubt that others would do infinitely better; and I could not help thinking how I should myself feel, were I to be summoned some fifty years hence to a. town-hall, and spoken to in this strain, and a young greenhorn snubbed me, and my coat were seedy, and I had not the most remote idea why the music should be better,—and I felt rather uncomfortable.

The state of musical life at Diisseldorf at that time was rather helter-skclter. Excusing himself for negligence in not writing to his sister, Fanny Hensler—that. sister to whom he was so dovotedly attached—he bade her remember that he is a town director, a beast of burden that has much to do, and it would seem something to endure, for he says : “ Lately, on my return home, I found two chairs standing “ on my writing-table, the guard of the stove lying under “the piano, and on my bed a comb and brush, and a pair “ of boots (Bendemann and Jordan had left these as visit“ ing cards)"—signilicont memorials of a not over studious society. And when Mendelssohn did address himself seriously to work, he met with other interruptions:

If you will do all this for me, write me a few lines immediately to Berlin, for I am obliged to go‘there for three or four days with my father, who went to England with me, and was dangerously ill there. Thank God, he is now quite restored to health; but I was under such dreadful apprehensions the whole time, that I shall leave nothing undone on my part to see him once more safe at. home. Imusr, however, return forthwith and proceed to Dusseldorf, where you are probably aware that I directed the Musical Festival, and subsequently dBCltltd on taking up my abode there for two or three years, nominally in order to direct the church music, and the Vocal Association, and probably also a new theatre which is now being built there, but in reality for the purpose of securing quiet and leisure for composition. The country and the people suit me admirably, and in winter " St Paul " is to be given. I brought out my new symphony in England, and people liked it; and now the “ Hebrides ” is about to be published, and also the symphony. This is all very gratifying, but I hope the things of real value are yet to come. I trust it may be so. It is not fair in me to have written you such a half-dry and wholly serious letter, but such has been the character of this recent period, and so I am become in some degree like it.

It was at Dusseldorf that Mendelssohn began his Oratorio of “ St; Paul," and in August 1834, he wrote to Pastor Schubring of Dessau, who had sent him scriptural passages to work upon, saying: “ The first part of ‘ St Paul' is now “nearly completed, and I stand before it ruminating likes “ cow that is afraid to go through a new door, and I never “ seem to finish it” ;—but by getting rid of the trammels of his office he made more satisfactory progress with his famous work, and writing about it. to his sister Fanny he incidentally makes a remark on change of style in playing which is worth remembering. “ I don’t at all approve," he says, “ of your taking the opportunity of hearing Lafont to “ speak of the revolution in the violin since Paganini, for I “ don't admit that any such thing exists in art, but only in “ the people themselves.” “ I was lately shown “ a couple of new French musical papers, where they allude “ incessantly to a rc't'olufion du gmli and a musical transi“ tion, which has been taking place for some years past, in “ which I am supposed to play a fine part; this is the sort “ of thing I do detest.” Ho reverts to this subject in a subsequent letter to his sister Rebecca:

Observe, I think that there is a vast distinction between reformation or reforming, and revolution, etc. Reformation is that which I desire to see in all things, in life and in art, in politics and in street pavement, and Heaven knows in what else besides. Reformation is entirely negative against abuses, and only removes what obstructs the path; but a revolution, by means of which all that was formerly good (and really good) is no longer to continue, is to me the most intolerable of all things, and is, in fact, only a fashion. Therefore, I would not for a moment listen to Fanny, when she said that Lafunt’s playing could inspire no further interest since the revolution effected by Paganini; for if his playing ever had the power to interest me, it would still do so, even if in the meantime I had heard the Angel Gabriel on the violin. It is just this, however, that those Frenchmen I alluded to can form no conception of ; that what is good, however old, remains always new, even although the present must differ from the past, because it emanates from other and dissimilar men. Inwardly they are only ordinary men like the former, and have only outwardly

[graphic][merged small]

l of his father's death, which happened unexpectedly in 1835, ,he writes to the Pastor Schubring as follows:

, God granted to my father the prayer that ho had often uttered; l his end was as peaceful and quiet, and as sudden and unexpected as he desired. On Wednesday, the 18th, he was surrounded by all his family, went to bed late the same evening, complained a little early on Thursday, and at half-past eleven his life was ended. The physicians can give his malady no name. It seems that my grandfather , Moses died in a similar manner,—so my uncle told ue,—st the same i age, without sickness, and in a calm and cheerful frame of mind. I

years past, my father was so good to me, so thoroughly my friend, that I was devoted to him with my whole soul, and during my long absence 1 scarcely ever passed an hour without thinking of him ; but as you knew him in his own home with us, in all his kindliness, you can well realize my state of mind. The only thing that‘now remains is to do onc's duty, and this I strive to accomplish with all my strength, for he would wish it to be so if he were still present, and I shall never . cease to endeavour to gain his approval as I formerly did, though I can no longer enjoy it. When I delayed answering your letter, I little thought that I should have to answer it thus; let me thank you for-it now, and for all your kindness. One passage for “ St Paul " was excellent, “dcr Du der rechte Vater bist." 1 have a chorus in in head for it which I intend shortly to write down. I shall new war with double zeal at the completion of “ St Paul," for my father urged me to it in the very last letter he wrote to me, and he looked forward very impatiently to the completion of my work. I feel as if I must exert all my energies to finish it, and make it as good as possible, and then think that he takes an interest in it.

Here is some excellent advice on the subject of publishing, which it would be well for the lady aspirants to literary fame of the present day to take into their earnest consideration. It. is contained in a letter from Mendelssohn to his mother:

You write to me about Fanny’s new compositions, and say that I ought to persuade her to publish them. Your praise is, however, quite unnecessary to make me heartily rejoice in them, or think them charming and admirable; for I know by whom they are written. I hope, too, I need not say that if she does resolve to publish anything, I will do all in my power to obtain every facility for her, and to relieve her, so far as I can, from all trouble which can possibly be spared her. But to persuade her to publish anything I cannot, because this is contrary to my views and to my convictions. We have often formerly discussed the subject, and I still remain exactly of the same opinion. I consider the ublication of a work as a serious matter (at least it ought to be so , for I maintain that no one should publish, unless the are resolved to appear as an author for the rest of their life. Fort is purpose, however, a succession of works is indispensable, one alter another. Nothing but annoyance is to be looked for from publishing, where one or two works alone are in question; or it becomes what is called a “manuscript for private circulation," which I also dislike; and from my knowledge of Fanny I should say she has neither inclination nor vocation for authorship. She is too much all that awoman ought to be for this. She regulates her house, and neither thinks of the ublic nor of the musical world, nor even of music at all, until her rat duties are fulfilled. Publishing would only disturb her in these, and I cannot say that I approve of it. I will not, therefore, persuade her to this step,— forgive mo for saying so. If she resolves to publish, either from her own impulse or to please Hensel, I am, as I said before, quite ready to assist her so far as I can; but to encourage her in what I do not consider right is what I cannot do.

But even in the midst of his most serious moods lightness of heart was constantly predominating. To be sure, the letter from which the following extract is taken was written during his honeymoon, at Bingin, in 1837:

I occupy myself continually hero in drawing figures, but I don't succeed very well. From want of practice this winter, I have forgotten what I knew much better last summer, when Schadow gave me every day a short drawing lesson at Scheveling, and taught meta sketch peasants, soldiers, old apple-women, and street boys. Yesterday, however, 1 made a drawing of Bishop Hatto, at the moment of being eaten up by the mice,-a splendid subject for all beginners. In this letter, music, the Rheingau, and gossip go hand-in-hand. For— give this, dear Mother. It is the same in real life.

Congratulating his friend Ferdinand David on the development of his musical abilities, Mendelssohn makes the following remarks expressive of his love for true art:

It is often grievous to me to see so many with the noblest aspirations, but inferior talents, and others with great talents yet low tendencies ; so that to see true genius, combined with right good will, is doubly cheering. People of the tormer class swarm here; almost all the young musicians who visit me may, with few exceptions, be included in that number. They praise and prize Gluck and Handel, and all that is good, and talk about them perpetually, and yet what they do is an utter failure, and so very tedious. 0f the second class there are examples everywhere. As I said,therefore, the very thought of your character rejoices me, and may Heaven permit us to succeed more and more in candidly expressing our wishes and our inmost thoughts, and in holding last all that is dear and sacred in art, so that it shall not perish ! . . .

Mendelssohn’s opinion on “ Pietism,” the cant of his day, and of our own, is well expressed in a letter to Professor Schirrner at Diisseldorf :

So I at: said to be a saint! If this is intended to convey what I conceive to be the meaning of the word, and what your expressions lead me to think you also understand by it, then I can only say that, alas ! I am not so, though every day of my life I strive with greater earnestness, according to my ability, more and more to resemble this character. I know indeed that I can never hope to be altogether a saint, but if I ever approach to one, it will be Well. If people, however, understand by the word “ saint," a Pietist, one of those who lay their hands on their laps, and expect that Providence Will do their Work for them, and who, instead of striving in their vocation to press on towards perfection, talk of a heavenly calling being incompatible with an earthly one, and are incapable of lovin with their whole hearts any human being, or anything on earth,— on God be praised! such a one I am not, and hope never to become, so long all live ; and

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »