Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

A CASE FOR THE LAWYERS.

A FOREIGN ESTIMATE OF BRITAIN. “I heard a tale of a butcher, who was driving two calves over a common The people, in so many respects the most interesting in Europe ; so that were coupled together by the necks with an oaken wyth (a halter worthy, by reason of its inviolable attachment to ancient usage, to be stamade of oak twigs). In the way where they should pass, lay a poor lean died by him who is occupied in investigating the origin of institutions; 50 mare, with a galled back, to whom they coming (as chance fell out) one of celebrated for the form of its government; joining to the energy of meone side, and the other of the other, smelling on her (as tl:eir manner is), narchy, the most unlimited liberty of the citizen ; so powerful by the the midst of the wyth that was between their necks rubbed her, and grated resources which the entire devotion of a great and wealthy nation presenta her on the sore back, that she started and rose up, and hung them both on to a sovereign, who is skilful in availing himself of them; this people is, at her back as a beam; which being but a rough plaister to her raw ulcer, the same time, precisely that which differs most from all other countries she ran away with them (as she were frantic) into the fens, where the ancient or modern. England, after having, during centuries, lield the balance butcher could not follow them, and drowned both herself and them in a of Europe, at the present moment grasps the sceptre of the seas, and exer. quagmire. Now the owner of the mare is in law with the butcher for the cises a preponderating influence on the continent: no event in the world is loss of his mare, and the butcher interchangeably indicts him for his indifferent to her, and almost everywhere she gives the decisive impulse. calves."-Pierce Penilesse, by Thomas Nashe, anno 1593.-We have searched Blended in every interest, her constitution, so eagerly praised, which has the books and cannot find any decision on this important case ; the point been imitated in more than one country, and which will ultimately prerail appears to have been again discussed in the yet undecided cause of Bullum everywhere ; her judicial forms, judged so salutary, and many of which r. Boatum, reported by Steevens, the renowned lecturer on heads.

have been universally adopted, are hardly known out of Great Britain

Myer's “ Esprit, Origine, et Progrès des Institutions Judiciaires." EVIL COMMUNICATION CORRUPTS GOOD MANNERS. “ It is easier," says St. Gregory Nazianzen, “to contract the viccs of

REASON AND RELIGION. others than to impart to them our own virtue; just as it is easier to catch “ If we observe the style and method of the Scriptures, we shall find in their diseases than to communicate to them our own good health."

them all over a constant appeal to men's reason, and to their intellectual

faculties. If the mere dictates of the Church, or of infallible men, had been OPINION

the resolution and foundation of faith, there had been no need of such a long “ There cannot,” says Locke, be a more dangerous thing to rely on, thread of reasoning and discourse, as both our Saviour used when on earth than the opinion of others, nor more likely to mislead onc; since there is and the Apostles used in their writings. We see the way of authority is pat much more falsehood and error among men, than truth and knowledge; taken, but explanations are offered, proofs and illustrations are brought, and if the opinions and persuasions of others, whom we know and think to convince the mind; which shows that God, in the clearest manifestation well of, be a ground of as-ent, men have reason to be heathens in Japan, of his will, would deal with us as with rational creatures, who are not to Mahometans in Turkey, Papists in Spain, Protestants in England, and believe, but on persuasion; and to use our reason, in order to the attaining Lutherans in Sweden."— Locke on the Human Understanding.

that persuasion."-Bishop Burnet's Exposition of the 19th Article.

“No mission can be looked on to be divine, that delivers anything dersTHE REFLECTION OF A PRIME MINISTER,

gating from the honour of the one, only, true, invisible God; or inconsistent Alas!

with natural religion, and the rules of morality; because God, having disOur glories float between the earth and leaven

covered to men the unity and majesty of his eternal Godhead, and the truths Like clouds which seem pavilions of the sun,

of natural religion and morality by the light of reason, he cannot be sup And are the playthings of the casual wind;

posed to lack the contrary by revelation ; for that would be to destroy the Still, like the cloud which drops on unseen crags

evidence and use of reason, without which, men cannot be able to distin. The dews the wild flower feeds on, our ambition

gaish divine revelation from diabolical imposture."-Locke's Posthumou May from its airy height drop gladness down

Works, p. 226.
On unsuspected virtue; and the flower

A PERSIAN PABLE.
May bless the cloud when it hath passcul away!

Bulwer's Richelieu.

A little particle of rain,

That from a passing cloud descended,
COMPARISON OF SAVAGE AND CIVILIZED LIFE.

Was heard thus idly to complain-
Coming from an almost desert country, we were struck with the bustle

“My brief existence now is ended! of a town (Augsturn) with only 6000 inhabitants. We admired the conve

Outcast alike of earth and sky, niences with which commerce and industry furnish civilised life. Humble

Useless to live, unknown to dic !" dwellings appeared to us magnificent; and every person with whom we

It chanced to fall into the sea, conversed seemed to be endowed with superior intelligence. Long priva

And there an open shell received it; tions give a value ti the smallest enjoyments; and I cannot express the

And after years how rich was he pleasure with which we saw, for the first time, wheaten bread on the

Who from its prison-house relieved it! governor's table.-Humboldi.

The drop of rain had formed a gem

To deck a monarch's diadem, -Glasgou Courier. PAST AND PRESENT TIMES. If a man drest as he drest 270 years ago, the pug dogs in the streets would

INFIDELITY IN THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. tear him to pieees. If he lived in the houses of 270 years ago, unrevised The prevalence of scepticism among medical men has frequently been a and uncorrected, he would die of rheumatism in a week. If he listened to topic of remark, and a subject of equal regret and astonishment. * Very the sermons of 270 years ago, he would perish with sadness and fatigue ; and illustrious examples," remarks Dr. Bateman's biographier, "are not wanting when a man cannot make a coat or a cheese for 50 years together, without to prove, from time to time, that the knowledge of anatomy may indeed in. making them better, can it be said that laws inade in those days of igno- spire religious sentiments." But it cannot be denied, that the dissectingrance, and framed in the fury of religious hatred, need no revision, and are room has not always proved the best school of the heart. Strange to say, the capable of no amendment?- Edin. Reriere.

anatomist has too often embraced a heartless materialisnı, while the astro

nomer has become an atheist.-Eclcc. Revicio, No. 262. CONSCIENCE. A vice sanctioned by the general opinion is merely a vice. The evil termi.

THE DARDANELLES. nates in itself. A vice condemned by the gencral opinion produces a per

The Dardanelles is a little Turkish town in the narrowest and most beau. nicious effect on the whole character. The former is a local malady, the

tiful part of the Straits-a strong fort, with enormous cannon, stands latter a constitutional taint. In our own country, a woman forfeits her

frowning on each side. These are the terrible fortifications of Mahomed place in society, by what, in a man, is too commonly considered as an

II.--the Keys of Constantinople. The guns are enormous; of one in partihonourable distinction, and, at worst, as a venial error. The consequence

cular the muzzle is two fect three inches in diameter, but with Turkish is notorio's. The moral principle of a woman is frequently more impaired | ingenuity they are so placed as to be discharged when a ship is directly by a single lapse from virtue, than that of a man by twenty years of opposite. If the ship is not disabled by the first fire, and does not choose intrigue.- Edin. Reviere.

to go back and take another, she is safe. At every moment a new picture

presents itself : a new fort, a new villa, or the ruins of an ancient city. A EFFECTS OF THE NORMAX CONQUEST.

naked point on the European side, so ugly, when compared with all around England, when the men of Normandy violated her soil, was wealthy and

it, as to attract particular attention, projects into the Strait; and here are happy; and the system of society was favourable to liberty. Of all this they

the ruins of Sestos; here Xerxes built his bridge of boats, to carry over his obliterated every vestige, and in exchange for these blessings, they entailed

millions to the conquest of Greece; and here, when he returned with the upon us a complicated and injurious seheme of jurisprudence, full of sub

wreck of his army defeated and disgraced, found his bridge destroyed by the tlety and chicanery, and well suited to the proverbially litigious spirit of

tempest, and in his rage ordered his chains to be thrown into the sea, and the Normans, though entirely averse to the simplicity of the Anglo-Saxon

the waves to be lashed with rods. From this point too, Leander swam the institutions. That this state of things should, in an enlightened age, be

Hellespont for love of Hero, and Lord Byron and Mr. Ekenhead for fun. permitted to subsist, is among the most astonishing of anomalies. Cheap

Nearly opposite, close to a Turkish fort, are the ruins of Abydos. Here ness, promptitude, and accessibility, are qualities without which substantial

Xerxes and Leander, and Lord Byron and Mr. Ekenhead, landed. - Stephens' justice cannot exist; and if these are to be found in our judicial code, wo

Incidents of Travel. have not read it rightly. The greater part of what is good in our constitution we inherit from our Saxon ancestors : the rest is Norman.-Eclectic London: WILLIAM SMITH, 113, Fleet Street. Edinburgh: FRASER Reviero.

& Co. Dublin : CURRY & Co.-Printed by Bradbury & Evans, Whitefriars.

[blocks in formation]

SHAKSPEARE.

[ocr errors]

THE BRITISH NAVY.

they found him guilty of the latter part, in the following words :

“ As that article (the 12th) positively prescribes death, without SIXTH ARTICLE. A NAVAL COURT-MARTIAL DESCRIBED. * We have strict statutes and most biting laws

any alternative left to the discretion of the Court, under any The needful bits and curbs for headstrong steeds."

variation of circumstances, the Court do therefore unanimously

adjudge the said Admiral John Byng to be shot to death.” Courts-MARTIAL differ in many respects from ordinary courts The members of the Court-martial, aware of the hardship of of justice, and the forms of Military are somewhat dissimilar from the case, used every endeavour, by a strong expression of their the Naval proceedings. In describing the latter it is not our pur- opinions in the body of their decision, and by subsequent propose to enter into a lengthened detail of the statutes or customs ceedings, to obtain a mitigation of the sentence, but without effect. * by which their jurisdiction is claimed and governed, but the reader It was necessary, in order to satisfy public clamour, that a victim will expect that we should state generally, under what authority should be offered; the twelve judges, to whose consideration the this tribunal is constituted.

case was submitted, confirmed the legality of the sentence, and it The Articles of War are clear and explicit, and embrace nearly was carried into effect on the 14th of March, 1757. every offence which a person in the flect can commit, prohibiting Although somewhat of a digression, we could scarcely, whilst what is wrong, and assigning the punishment and penalty for each on the subject of Courts-martial, omit a notice of Admiral Byng's transgression ; according to the maxim of the best writers on case; an event which produced the greatest sensation in the jurisprudence, that “it is but labour lost to say 'do this, or avoid country and the naval service at the time. Rear-admiral Temple that,' unless the consequence of non-compliance be also declared.”* West, then in command of a squadron at Spithead under sailing

The commander of every ship is, therefore, not only strictly orders, addressed a letter to the First Lord of the Admiralty, exenjoined to cause the articles of war to be constantly exhibited in pressing his feelings of the injustice of the sentence in strong terms, a place accessible to the crew, but also, to take care that they be and requesting permission to resign his command; and Admiral read over at least once in every month, in presence of the whole Forbes, a member of the Board of Admiralty, refused to sign the ship’s company, specially assembled for that purpose. Minor warrant for execution, and retired from office, publishing strong offences, not included in the articles of war, and for which no and manly reasons for his conduct, the justice of which was not punishment is ordered to be inflicted, are directed to be dealt with long after freely acknowledged, when the prejudice created against according to the laws and customs in such cases used at sea, the unfortunate officer had passed away. namely at the discretion of the captain.

The authority under which Courts-martial are held is of very The articles of war, as originally framed, (13 Charles II. cap. 9. ancient date, and it is recognized by various statutes consolidated amended by 22 George II., cap. 33.) were very sanguinary, and into the one already alluded to (22 George II., cap. 33) under although the penalty assigned to various crimes has been mitigated which it is provided, “ that no Court-martial shall consist of more by subsequent enactments, and a greater latitude permitted to the than thirteen, nor less than five members,t to be composed of such Court in assigning the punishment for a proved offence, they are flag officers, captains, or commanders, then and there present, as still too vindictive, and often, no doubt, like all laws bearing that are next in seniority to the officer who presides at the Courtcharacter, defeat the very purpose they have in view.

martial.". It also provides, " that, when more than five ships The lamented fate of Admiral Byng called for the revision of are assembled in foreign parts, the officer next in command to the the 12th article of war, under which that unfortunate officer commander-in-chief shall preside at the Court-martial.”$ suffered.--As originally framed it ran thus :

Regimental and military Courts-martial are composed of officers "Every person in the fleet, who, through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, shall in time of action withdraw, or keep back, or

* They addressed the following letter to the Lords Commissioners of the

Admiralty. not come into the fight or engagement, or shall not do his utmost “We the undersigned, the president and members of the Court-martial to take or destroy every ship which it shall be his duty to engage ;

assembled for the trial of Admiral Byng, believo it unnecessary to inform

your lordships, that in the whole course of this long trial, we have done our and to assist and relieve all and every of his Majesty's ships or utmost endeavour to come at truths, and do the strictest justice to our those of his allies, which it shall be his duty to assist and relieve : country and the prisoner: but we cannot help laying the distresses of our

minds before your lordships on this occasion, in finding ourselves under a every such person so offending, and being convicted thereof by necessity of condemning a man to death from the great severity of the 12th sentence of a Court-martial, shall suffer death.”+

article of war, part of which he falls under, and which admits of no Although the Court acquitted the Admiral of cowardice or dis- mitigation, even if it should be cumniitted by an error in judgment only:

and therefore, for our conscience sake, as well as in justice to the prisoner, affection, the most odious and heaviest branches of this article, we pray your lordships, in the most carnest manner, to recommend him to

His Majesty's clemency.

"We are, &c." † By 19 George III. cap. 17. this and other articles were amended thus :

(Signed by all the members of the Court.) "Whereas the restraining of the power of the Court-martial to the inflicting

“ H.M.S. St. George, Portsmouth Harbour, 24th January, 1757." of the punishment of death in the several cases recited, &c. may be at. tended with great hardship and inconvenience: be it enacted &c. that it

† Prior to the passing of this Act, in 1749, thirteen was the minimum shall be lawful in the several cases recited in the said clauses, for the Court number, the maximum being only limited by the number of officers present, martial to pronounce sentence of death, or to inflict such other punishment

but this was attended with inconvenience. as the nature and degree of the offence shall be found to deserve."

# Section 12th.

$ Section 7th,

* Blackstone.

VOL. 1.

R

Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriari,

of different grades, from the general to the subaltern, but naval charge is of such a nature as to render close confinement of the Courts-martial never include a lower rank than commanders (equal prisoner necessary, which is always attended with inconvenience to majors in the army); and it has been frequently urged in ob.

on board a ship. jection to these tribunals, that persons of inferior degree, accused It is not imperative, however, upon the superior authorities to of crimes, have not the advantage which the constitution recognizes order a Court-martial, because such a step may, at an unseasonable in other Courts, of being tried by their peers or equals.

time, be prejudicial to the service; in the case, for instance, of a The observation of the cook is adduced, who, when deprived of junior officer bringing charges against his commander when in the his warrant, declared that had be been tried by a Court of cooks, execution of some important duty; under such circumstances it is instead of captains, his fate would have been different; and in- usual to postpone, and sometimes refuse it altogether, unless there stances have certainly happened, in times gone by, where captains appears good reason for granting it, without injury to the public are supposed to have been influenced in favour of their own grade. service. All things considered, we do not think that the composition of the Since the appointinent of commanders to serve under captains Court would be amended or rendered more impartial by admitting in line-of-battle ships, the question has been mooted as to officers of inferior rank; and as for common seamen, their habits, whether these officers are eligible under the provisions of the Act education, and subordinate situations, totally unfit them for the

to sit as members of a Court-martial; for although their rank office of judges, particularly under circumstances when their free entitles them, it is argued that not being in command of ships, opinions would assuredly be controlled by the presence of their they were neither contemplated for members when the Act was superiors.

passed, nor defined as such. It is said that the sentence of a The authority of Courts-martial extends to all offences com- Court-martial so constituted, held at Halifax in 1835, upon a mitted upon the sea, or in havens, creeks, &c. subject to the talented young officer," was disputed, and intended to be brought jurisdiction of the Admiralty, by persons of every description, under the consideration of the Courts of Law, or what would have soldiers as well as sailors, in actual service and full pay, in the been of worse consequence, actions for damages commenced against fleets or ships of her Majesty; and also to the crimes of mutiny, the members, had not the Admiralty restored that gentleman to desertion, or disobedience to lawful command, in any part of her his rank, the charges against him being, fact, but trivial, and Majesty's dominions on shore, when in actual service relative to the Court to all appearance not fairly constituted. However this the fleet; and under certain circumstances on shore out of her may be, as much difference of opinion exists, it behoves the authoMajesty's dominions.* Also to vessels commissioned by letters of rities to place the matter beyond dispute, either by amending the marque, as Indiamen generally used to be, but not to hired victu- Act, or obtaining the opinion of the law officers of the Crown, and allers or transports : the attempt to bring these latter under the publishing it, if favourable to the present practice.f cognizance of Courts-martial having been decided in the negative Besides the foregoing point, there are various matters which the by the law officers of the crown in 1791, in the case of the crew of subtlety of lawyers have never failed to involve in doubt, connected the Plymouth transport, charged with embezzling stores.

with the practice or proceedings of Courts-martial ; and as these But no officer on ball pay is subject to the jurisdiction of a only occur when officers of rank and wealth, who are able to emCourt-martial ; and no person can be tried for any offence unless ploy the best legal talent, are submitted to the inquisition, it is the complaint be made in writing, and a Court-martial ordered highly desirable that some plain and definite rules should be within three years after the offence shall have been committed, established for the government of these tribunals, so as to place or within one year after the return of the ship to which the offender the members beyond the consequence of doubt or errors, which belongs into any of the ports of Great Britain or Ireland, or tend to involve them in serious responsibilities. within one year after the return of such offender.t

When the Secretary of the Admiralty has submitted the letter There is no law or regulation to limit the time that a person can demanding a Court-martial to the Board, or the com manderbe kept under arrest awaiting his trial, because it is impossible in in-chief on a foreign station decides on ordering one to be the naval service to calculate on the period that ships can be con

assembled, a letter is addressed to the officer selected to preside, veniently assembled for the purpose of forming a Court. It often- being his precept or commission for holding the Court, and the times happens that close continement in warm climates before the commander-in-chief (the senior officer) issues memorandums or trial, is a greater punishment than the Court adjudges for the notices to the flag-officers and captains of the squadron, anoffence. In the army the time is limited to eight days, or until a nouncing that a Court-martial will be held on board of a particular Court-martial can be conveniently assembled.

ship, on a stated day, and ordering them to attend in full or unOccasionally, but to the credit of the naval service be it stated, dress uniform, as the case may be. He also notifies the president, but seldom, a necessity for Court-martial arises. It is hardly ever and the captain of the ship wherein the Court-martial is to be resorted to until all other means have failed, such as invaliding, held, to make proper arrangements. exchanging, or applying to be superseded, when disagreement The president appoints a judge-advocate by warrant under his upon points of service occur between a captain and his officers. hand and seal ; it is the duty of this gentleman to take minutes of We believe, under present circumstances, this extreme course is the proceedings, to administer oaths, and to inform the Court never appealed to unless in very flagrant cases, or when brought upon points of practice or questions of law that may arise during about by the obstinacy of the parties in fault. It is a well under the trial. He is allowed 8s. per diem during the time the Courtstood thing, that if a junior officer exhibits charges against his martial lasts, and as he has matters to attend to connected with superior, which he fails to substantiate, his prospects may be the inquest, before and after the sitting, he is always allowed ten considered as ruined in the Navy; and there is good reason for dis- days' expenses, or £4, although the Court-martial is finished in countenancing any attempts to dispute the authority of the cap- one day. This stipend is totally inadequate to compensate a tain of a ship in a service, the very essence of whose discipline is gentleman who has been at the pains and expense to qualify him. implicit obedience.

self for an office, on his efficiency in which depends that harmony When a necessity arises for Court-martial, the person making of motion so necessary to constitute a regular court. the complaint on which it is intended to be founded, addresses a The provost-martial is also appointed under the president's letter to the commander-in-chief of the fleet or squadron to warrant, and has the custody of the prisoner until he is released which the ship belongs, setting forth the nature of the charges, by due course of law. His allowance is 4s. per diem. the when and the where, &c. with the request that a Court-martial It is part of the business of the judge-advocate to give the may be ordered. Should one of the officers make the charges, the person accused timely notice of his intended trial, and to obtain letter must be transmitted to the captain, with the request that from him, as well as the prosecutor, a list of witnesses intended he will be pleased to forward it, and the admiral, or Admiralty if to be called, in order that they may be duly summoned. The the matter occurs at home, gives the necessary directions for notices must be given at least twenty-four hours before the day assembling a sufficient number of ships, or if that cannot conve- appointed for the Court-martial to be held. niently be done on a foreign station, the ship is ordered to England with the prosecutor, prisoner, and witnesses on board, so as to

* Lieutenant Maw, of the President, bring the matter to issue as soon as possible, particularly if the serving in the same ship, to sit as members of the same Court, and as.com:

It has always been the oustom for a flag-officer and captain, although

manders are eligible for members, it is argued that no prejudice can arise by * By the 35th article of war, enacted in 1748, at the suggestion of Lord these also being admitted, although serving with captains. The original Anson, in consequence of the crew of the Wagor, one of the ships of his Act of 13 Charles II., upon which all subsequent regulations appear to have expedition, having refused to acknowledge the authority of their officers after the ship was lost.

been founded, says that Courts-martial shall consist of commanders and † 22 George II., cap. 33. sec. 23.

captains, meaning evidently cominanders of the first, second, and third posts, which includes flag-officers and commanders.

When all these matters are performed, and the day of trial | ing up his statement by the judge-advocate The same forms arrives, the ship selected in England, generally the flag-ship,) are gone through on the following morning, except swearing the fires a gun at eight o'clock in the morning, and hoists the union Court, the prisoner now examining the witnesses in chief, and jack at the mizen-peak (the place from which the ensign is at the prosecutor cross-examining. Testimonials both written and other times exhibited). This is the signal for a Court-martial to oral as to character are produced, and the defence being closed, assemble, and the captains are rowed on board in their barges, the Court is cleared, and the doors closed, in order that the and arrive before nine, which is generally the hour appointed for members may deliberate on the sentence. the proceedings to commence.

The judge-advocate now reads over the whole of the minutes The place in which the Court usually assembles is the fore-cabin, of the Court-martial, dwelling on every point of the evidence ; and a space extending across the deck from side to side. A long when that is done, the members of the Court vote as to the guilt table is laid out, covered with green cloth, and, opposite to each or innocence of the prisoner, beginning with the junior member, chair, pens, ink, and paper are placed for the use of the members. and proceeding up to the president. If, upon a division, the The president takes his seat on the starboard side of the ship at votes are equal, the point is reconsidered ; and if there is an the head of the table, and the prosecutor is stationed behind him ; equality of opinions upon the main charge, the favourable confacing the president, at the bottom, is the judge-advocate, and the struction is adopted. The president of naval Courts-martial has members are ranged on each side according to their seniority, the only a single vote like the other members. highest in rank being on the right hand of the president, the next When this is settled, the judge-advocate draws up the sentence, on his left, and so on in succession, right and left, reaching to the which is signed by all the members of the Court, notwithstanding bottom.

that the opinions are not unanimous, for the document receives its The prisoner, who we will suppose to be one of the lieutenants force and validity from the judgment of the majority. It is of his ship, has been up to this time under arrest—if at large, not countersigned by the judge-advocate : the Court is then opened, doing any duty, nor appearing on the quarter-deck,-or confined the prisoner and the witnesses brought in, and the sentence read, to his cabin under charge of a sentry; according to the nature of all the members appearing with their hats on. the offence. He is now brought into Court in custody of the The form of the sentence, after the preamble, runs thus : provost-martial, who stands over him with a drawn sword during “ Having strictly examined the evidence in support of the charge, the whole time of trial. The prisoner always appears dressed in as well as heard what the prisoner had to offer in his defence, and full uniform, out of respect to the Court, and his sword is laid on very maturely weighed and considered the same, the Court is of the table : he takes his place to the left of the judge-advocate, opinion, that the charge [is proved, or proved in part, or not and, if attended by counsel, he is accommodated with a table, proved, as the case may be]; and do therefore adjudge," &c. chairs, and writing materials, by permission of the president. The If the prisoner is acquitted, the president, in returning him his list of witnesses is then called over, they are ordered into Court, sword, generally addresses a few words of congratulation on the and the public is admitted.

event, and his hope that he will continue to merit the good The judge-advocate then rises, reads in an audible voice the opinion of his brother officers and superiors, notwithstanding warrant for assembling the Court-martial, and other documents, what has occurred. If the sentence is unfavourable, and, as calls over the names of the members, and administers to each mostly happens under such circumstances, the prisoner is dis. of them an oath, to the effect that they shall duly administer missed the service, nothing more is said, he is withdrawn in justice according to the articles of war, without partiality, custody of the provost-martial, his commission cancelled from favou, or affection, and in cases not defined by the aforesaid arti. that day, and his name removed from the Navy List. cles, to the best of their ability, and not disclose or discover the When the Court-martial is finished, the union-jack, which, up opinion of any member, unless thereunto required by act of par. to that time, had been exhibited from eight in the morning to the liament.

hour of adjourning the Court each day, is hauled down, and all It is usual for three or four members to lay their hands together things resume their ordinary appearance. on the evangelists, unless there be a book provided for each, and It has not happened for many years that a commissioned all together to repeat the words of the oath solemnly after the officer of the Navy has fallen under a charge affecting his life ; judge-advocate, who is also sworn by the president not to disclose the last we recollect was the unfortunate case of Lieutenant or discover the opinions of the members.

Gamage, who was executed in the Downs in 1812, for the murder The charge is next read, and all the witnesses but the first being of a sergeant of marines, whom he had been provoked to stab in ordered to withdraw, and to be kept, pending the trial, from a fit of passion, produced by the mutinous behaviour of the man. communicating with each other, bis examination is taken after he We may probably take occasion in the course of these papers, has heen sworn as follows :

when treating on punishments in general, to describe the forms “], Á B, do most solemnly swear that in the evidence I shall adopted on these melancholy occasions, where the extremity of give before the Court respecting the present trial, whether de- the law is put in execution. manded of me by question or not, and whether favourable or We shall in our next describe minutely the nature and capa. unfavourable to the prisoner, I shall declare the truth, the whole bility of the ship's armament; after that the mode of paying the truth, and nothing but the truth: So help me God."

advance, and then proceed to sea. If a Roman Catholic, the witness is sworn on the cross, and according to the form of his religion, whatever it may be, for persons of all creeds are admitted to give evidence.

The station of the witness under examination is to the right of The port is magnificent; nature has done everything for it, the judge-advocate, and the interrogation begins by the prose- The entrance of its deep roadstead is about seven hundred fathoms cator questioning him for the purpose of substantiating the in breadth, wide enough to facilitate navigation, and allow vessels to charges. The question generally put, after he has answered as to tack, but sufficiently narrow to break the force of the sea and admit his being present at time and place, is “ Relate to the Court what of easy defence. It is protected by batteries mounting three you saw or heard." All the evidence is taken down by the judge- hundred and fifty pieces of cannon, to which eighteen mortars à-laadvocate in writing, and it greatly facilitates the proceedings when Paixhans are about to be added, and could not be forced. This the prosecutor, the Court, or the prisoner, hands to him on a slip entrance leads to several inner havens, formed by different creeks, of paper the question proposed, not only because it saves him the or valleys, abutting on the principal valley, which offer sailors a necessity of writing it down, and afterwards repeating it to the choice of the most advantageous anchorage, according to the cirwitness, but the witness has no time for meditating on the cumstances of the season. There is good holding-ground every

One answer, in case he may be disposed to give his evidence par- where, and an equal depth of water up to the very shore. tially.

might compare it to a tree, whose branches taper to a point. It is After the examination in chief by the prosecutor, the questions a repetition of what is seen at Malta, only that the channel is propounded by the Court, and cross-examination by the prisoner, broader and the harbour more extensive ; indeed, it could accomis ended, the evidence is read over to the witness, if he requires it, modate a_fleet consisting of a limitless number of vessels.and he is at liberty to correct it, if not satisfied of its accuracy. Russian Expeditions against the Circassians. He is then ordered to withdraw, another is called, and so on in

* It may seem strange that the judge-advocate, who appears in the light succession, until the case for the prosecution is closed. It often

of a prosecutor for the Crown, should assist the prisoner in his defence ; happens that the prisoner craves of the Court some little time, the object, however, of a Court-martial is to arrive at the truth, and theregenerally until the following morning, to prepare his defence, and fore it becomes the duty of the judge-advocate to bring forward all the if unprovided with a legal adviser, he is nsually assisted in draw | proofs he can procure:

SEBASTOPOL.

AN HISTORICAL TALE.

observe from the rampart the face of the distant country. He THE DEATH OF ATTILA.

returned twice without any intelligence that could inspire hope or

comfort; but in his third report he mentioned a small cloud The fertile plains of Gaul lay waste, and her horror-stricken which he had faintly descried at the verge of the horizon. " It is inhabitants saw no means of defence against the barbarian army the aid of God!” exclaimed the bishop, in a tone of pious confi. of one who made the princes of the eastern and western empire of dence, and the whole multitude repeated after him, “ It is the aid Rome tremble at his name : the cruel Attila, so justly termed of God!" That remote object was indeed the impatient squadrons “The Scourge of God," who for a season was permitted by of Ætius, the Roman general, and of Theodoric, king of the divine justice to ravage the most civilised countries of Europe, Visigoths, pressing forward in deep and close array to the relief like some deadly pestilence sent on earth as a warning and a of Orleans. punishment for the crimes of mortals.

These words, which almost prophesied their arrival, were the Already the king of the Huns had reached the heart of Gaul, last Serena ever heard her uncle utter: the next instant they were his progress marked by ruin aod desolation, for it was a saying surrounded by a crowd of barbarians, whose misshapen figures worthy of his ferocious pride, “ that the grass never grew on the and uncouth features would have been terrific in their mildest spot where Attila's horse had trod !” The places where populous mood, but now that they were animated by the thirst of blood, cities and happy villages once lay, were only to be known by and every evil passion, gave them the appearance of those demons mingled bodies of every age and sex strewn around, a few smoking from whom they were fabled to have sprung. The grey liairs of ruins, or a solitary spire. In the unhappy city of Metz, the Anianous, and the unresisting majesty of his aspect, were no Church of St. Stephen was the only building that Attila left, to protection ; Serena saw a bloody sword descend on his venerable show where it bad once stood; and now, after a long and labo- brow, and he sank fainting to the earth. rious march, he fixed his camp under the walls of Orleans, relying When she returned to a miserable consciousness, it was to find on the secret invitation of Sangiban, king of the Alani, who had herself in a kind of waggon, in which were several other female promised to betray the city, and to revolt from the service of the captives, whose beauty, or whose rich apparel, which spoke a empire. But this treacherous conspiracy was detected and dis- rank likely to procure a considerable ransom, rendered them appointed. Orleans had been strengthened with recent fortifica- worth the trouble of transporting, in the retreat which the policy tions, and the fierce assaults of the Huns were vigorously repulsed of Attila deemed advisable on the arrival of the Roman and by the faithful valour of the brave soldiers and citizens, who Gothic forces before Orleans. His caution made him dread eren defended the place. Their bishop, Anianous, a prelate of primi. the possibility of defeat whilst in the heart of Gaul; he had there. tive sanctity and unshaken courage, with an eloquence that seemed fore sounded the retreat for his disappointed troops just as they almost that of inspiration, endeavoured to support the spirits of had begun the pillage of the city. The Huns having passed to the garrison, until the arrival of expected succour : but after an the rear by the vanguard of the Romans, and reached the smooth obstinate siege, the walls were shaken by the battering-rams of and level surface of the plain of Châlons, which was well adapted the Huns, and the women and children, with the old men and to the operations of the Scythian cavalry, anxiously endeavoured persons incapable of bearing arms, lay prostrate in prayer. So to reach a considerable eminence that commanded the surrounding well known was the ruthless cruelty of Attila's soldiery, that country, the importance of which was well understood by the mothers rushed with their newly-born infants to the baptismal generals of each army; but they were anticipated by the young font, desirous of having them dedicated to Heaven, ere one and valiant son of Theodoric, who, leading his troops first to the commou massacre involved themselves, their babes, and the summit, rushed with irresistible weight on the Huns, who laboured priests who served at the altar. Still, notwithstanding the urgent to ascend it on the opposite side, and the possession of this danger, the pious Anianous walked amidst the people with an advantageous post inspired the Roman and Gothic army with a unfaltering step, telling them to rely firmly on the merciful God, fair assurance of victory. who had hitherto preserved them, and all would yet be well; for It was at this moment that the anxiety of Attila led him to He never forsook, in the hour of danger, those who had always consult his priests and haruspices to learn the event of the apremembered him in prosperity.

proaching battle. And the scene wbich presented itself to the Beside Anianous, whilst he uttered those words of consolation, eyes of Serena, whose litter had been drawn close enough to walked a young and beautiful girl, whose full blue eyes, fair com- observe it, was one of thrilling interest. An altar had been com. plexion, and lofty stature, would have marked her as a descendant posed of faggots hastily piled to an enormous height, and surof the Franks, were it not that luxuriant dark hair, an aquiline mounted by the famous sword, placed in an upright position, nose, and a cast of features that was almost commanding, showed which had been presented to Attila by a shepherd, who, seeing a that she might also lay claim to Roman origin. Her father, a heifer wounded in the foot, followed the track of her blood till be brave Roman knight, when expiring from the wounds received in discovered the point of an ancient weapon rising from the earth, a battle dearly won, left his infant daughter, Serena, and her which he dug from it with superstitious awe. The artful prince mother, Thorismonda, to the care of his brother, Anianous. received it with every demonstration of pious gratitude, as the Thorismonda, whose beauty had first fixed the attention of her sword of Mars ; and as the possessor of this celestial gift, be husband, when she was captured on the banks of her native asserted his indeseasible claim to the dominion of the entire earth Rhine, and whose amiable disposition had induced him to make beneath the symbol of his tutelar deity. Attila stood surrounded her his bride, did not long require the care of the good bishop, by his white-robed priests and augurs, his large head, swarthy but, piping in silent sorrow for the loss of her husband, only complexion, small deep-seated black eyes, flat nose, and thin. survived him a few months. Serena, however, lived to be the scattered beard, gave him an aspect that scarcely deserved the happiness of her uncle's old age ; and whilst in this hour of danger, name of human : yet his broad shoulders, and short square body, she went through the city, imitating his example, encouraging the though as disproportioned as his features, spoke of nervous and faint-hearted, praying with them, giving directions for the relief enduring strength, whilst the haughty step and demeanour of the of the wounded, and even attending to them herself, she seemed king of the Huns, seemed to express a consciousness of supeso exquisitely lovely, that she might have been mistaken for a riority above the rest of mankind. Yet he—the scourge of nations being superior to humanity, were it not for a shade of deep-often trembled inwardly from superstitious dread, and now anxiety, amounting almost to anguish, that might at times be seen with earnest looks beheld the progress of his bloody rites. Sheep, to cloud her features, and which told too plainly she was not oxen, horses, the best and most faultless that could be procured, exempt from the griefs of mortals. And well might those looks had bled beneath the ruthless symbol, when the chief priest waved express anxiety : that morning her betrothed lover, Gaudentius, a aloft his blood-stained hand, and a numerous band of Roman and young and noble Roman, had been made prisoner in a sally Gallic captives were led forward, their noble features and graceful against the Hups. Nothing but a sense of duty supported Serena forms strongly contrasting with the deformed and hideous crew against the blow ; she knew that if the wretchedness she inwardly that guarded them. Slowly the haruspice counted the prisoners felt were to appear, it would dishearten still more the women of as they passed before him, then touching the hundredth captive the city, who looked up to her as to a guiding star, and their with a long wand, ornamented with strange carvings, he was terrors might enervate the courage of the soldiers who defended placed near the altar. He had thus selected ten, when, as another them, even as the women of Carthage had awakened in her garri- file advanced, the trembling Serena recognised amongst the numson a courage almost superhuman.

ber Gaudentius—her own brave, noble Gaudentius, to whom in But now the lofty walls were shattered to their foundation, and another month she was to have been united, now standing before breaches would too soon appear. Anianous, who had anxiously the bloody altar of a Pagan god, ready to fall a sacrifice to his counted the days and hours, despatched a trusty messenger to abominable worship. She tried in vain to precede the priest in

« AnteriorContinuar »