Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Chancery, by which the fees paid out confirmed by Lord Eldon, although of the pockets of suitors into those of at the same time he confessed that he the officers of the court have been doubted whether it was legal; but all unlawfully augmented. He shows this done with so much cunning, that that this practice is pernicious to the the persons who ought most to have administration of justice, and burden. complained were silenced by the some to the people; and that it tends name of Lord Erskine, upon whom to benefit the judges (chiefly Lord Lord Eldon, or, as Mr. Bentham calls Eldon) in a pecuniary point of view, him, John the Second, had taken care because it increases the value of their that all the blame should fall, We patronage, and because valuable pa- must give this in the Bencher's own tronage is money. He then particu. words": larly directs his attention to the * Note here the felicity of Lord Eldon : augmentation of fees made in 1807 the profit reaped by him from the Hegira by Lord Chancellor Erskine and his of a few months. We shall soon see, Mentor, as he calls Sir William Grant, how, from one of the most unexpectable then the Master of the Rolls. He as

of all incidents, the grand design of the serts—we think, fairly enough-that grand master of delay experienced a delay the increase of fees, which are sooner

of six years: a delay, which, like so many

of his own making, might never have founil or later, in part or in whole, to find

an end, but for the short-lived apparent their way into the pocket of the judge, triumph and unquiet reign of the pretenders is a species of bribery, and upon this to the throne. When, upon their expulsion, he has a whimsical passage, which lie the legitimates resumed their due omnipoquotes from that great common law tence,it seemed to all who were in the secrets authority (an authority, by the way, of providence-and neither Mr. Bailey nor which he laughs at) Mr. Sergeant Mr. Justice Park, nor any other chaplain of Hawkins. “Bribery,”says the learned Lord Eldon’s, could entertain a doubt of sergeant, “is sometimes taken for the it--that it was only to give safety and receiving or offering of any undue re

success to this grand design of his, that ward, by or to any person whatsoever, had been permitted. The chancellor, by

the momentary ascendency of the intruders whose ordinary profession or business relates to the administration of public execution was taken, being a Whig,—not

whom the first visible step in the track of justice, in order to incline him to do a only was a precedent set, and ground thus thing against the known rules of made for the accoinmodation of Lord Eldon, honesty and integrity; for the law but a precedent which the Whigs, as such, abhors [inuendo the common law, stood effectually estopped from controvertthat is to say, it makes the judges ing; Poor Lord Erskine--all that be bad abhor] uny the least tendency to cor- had time to do, was to prepare the treat: ruption in those who are any way

to prepare it for his more fortunate prede

cessor and successor. Scarce was the concerned in its administroiion." • Here the learned sergeant waxes

banquet on the table, when up rose from

his stronger and stronger in sentimental into his wallet, this, in addition to all the

the “giant refreshed,” and swept ity, as he ascends into the heaven of other sweets of office. As to poor Lord hypocrisy, where he remains during Erskine, over and above his paltry four the whole of that and the next long thousand pounds a-year, nothing was, left section.-“ Abhor corruption ?” Oh him, but to sing with Virgil-Sic vos non yes, even as a dog does carrion.

nobis mellificutis apes.' * Be this as it may, note with how

He then shows that the same prachot a burning iron le stamps bribery tice has been attempted, and with and corruption on the foreheads of similar success, in the other courts ; such a host of sages :-of Lord and, after alternating tickling the Erskine (oh fie! isn't he dead?) Sir judges till they are ready to laugh, William Grant (oh fie! was he not an and then beating them till he makes able judge ?) and Lord Eldon, the loid them cry, he apostrophizes Mr. Peel of lords, with his etceteras the inferior and Mr. Canning in a manner which chiefs."

the latter at least must feel, and which This seems to us as funny as any is perhaps the more forcible from its thing in Hooke's farces, and a great being so wholly unexpected, and so dcal more true.

different froin all the preceding parts This augınentation was afterwards of the book.

come

• Oppose now, if you have face for it, magnitude, that, like Aaron's serpent-rod, “ the dragging the judges of the land" it shows as if it had swallowed up all the before the Čatos whom you are addressing rest. In the public recognition of it, --the tribunal of Parliament. Fear no trembling complaint seeks an emollient for longer, Mr. Peel, if ever you feared before, vengeance; decorous and just satire, a the obtaining credence for your assurance- mask. After stabbing the Master of the that it was by Lord Eldon his majesty was Abuses through and through with facts, advised to commission Lord Eldon to re- Mr. Vizard takes in hand the name of this port upon the conduct of Lord Eldon. Mr. virtue-and, inuendo, this is the only one Canning-you, who but two years ago-so that can be found, lays it like a piece of light in the scale of sentimentalism is goldbeater's skin on the wounds. That public duty weighed against private friend which beauty, according to Anacreon, is to ship, (and such friendship!)— you who, so woman,--courtesy, according to every body, lately, uttered the so solemn promise never is to Lord Eldon : to armour of all sorts to give a vote that should cast imputation offensive as well as defensive--a matchless upon Lord Eldon, watch well, sir, your and most advantageous substitute. With time, and when, these imputations having the exception of those, whom, while doubt

on, votes come to be given on ing, he is ruining, and, without knowing them, repress then, if possible, your tears, any thing of the matter, plundering, - this and, wrapping yourself up in your agony, it is that keeps every body in good humour : hurry out of the House.'

every body— from my lord duke, down to After this the Bencher gets a little the barrister's servant-clerk. Useful here, wild, and" goes so far as to call, in useful there, useful every where,—of all plain English, these venerable and places, it is in the cabinet that it does eminent persons 'swindlers.' He

knights' service. It is the court stickingsays that this violation of the law by keeps covered all solutions of continuity :

plaster, which, even when it fails to heal, the judges was greater than that it is the grand imperial cement, which keeps effected by the judges of Charles II. political corruption from dissolving in its and attempted by those, of James II. own filth. Never (said somebody once), and if he does not prove it it is not never do I think of Lord Eldon or Lord his fault. He is only withheld from Sidmouth, but I think of the aphorism of asserting that Lord Eldon is most Helvetius-Celui qui n'a ni hanneur ui huunfit for his office by the recollection meur est un Courlisan parfait.' of Lord Redesdale, whom he intro

And, having thus gone through the duces in the following whimsical subject of Lord Eldon's conduct renote : * I would willingly have said most unfit, with a summary of his character, and

specting fees, Mr. Bentham concludes but truth, as will be seen, forbids me. Saul and Jonathan were Lord Eldon and instruction of posterity, or for the

the feats he lias performed for the Lord Redesdale. Lord Eldon, AttorneyGeneral ; Lord Redesdale, Solicitor-Gene.

use of some future historian. It is ral: chancellors-Lord Eldon, of England;

written with all possible severity; the Lord Redesdale, of Ireland. Scholars of last passage, quaint as it is, is not less the school of Fabius, but with one differ- masterly in composition than it is ence :-by the Roman cunctation, every vigorous in expression ; and the thing was perfected; by the English and whole convinces us that Mr. Bentham's Irish, marred.

oddity is affected, either for some pur* The London laid a wager with the pose, or merely from a habit of inDublin chancellor, which should, in a

dulging himself; but that, when he given time, do least bụsiness. Dublin beat London hollow.'

chooses, he can write as forcibly and The lord chancellor is universally How very poor any thing of Cobbett's

as well as any other political author. praised, even by his enemies, for his

would look beside this, merely in the courteous manners. The Duke of

way of bitterness, to say nothing of Glo'ster, in the play, says, “I can

the comprehensive view which is smile and smile,' and so forth. Mr.

taken, and of which Cobbett is wholly Bentham, in the enumeration of Lord

incapable ! Eldon's virtues, cannot forget this.

Beyond all controversy, — recognised • To improve upon these hastily collectnot less readily by adversaries than by ed hints, and complete the investigation, dependants, one politico-judicial virtue his would, if performed by a competent hand, lordship has, --- which, in his noble and assuredly be a inost interesting as well as learned bosom, has swelled to so vast a useful work.

* 1. Nipping in the bud the spread of able any thing, to which the judges, withı improvement over the habitable globe, the words common law 'in their mouths, ruining fortunes by wholesale, and involve shall have been pleased to attach punishing in alarm and insecurity a vast propor- ment, or take upon them to punish :-- thus, tion of the vast capital of the country, by by the assumed authority of himself, and wantonly scattered doubts, leaving the those his creatures, keeping men under settlement of them to a future contingent 'the rod of punishment, for habits of action, time that may never come.

which, in consideration of their innoxious• 2. Rendering all literary property de- ness, had by Parliament been recently expendent upon his own inscrutable and empted from it: as if Parliament had not uncontrollable will and pleasure.

exempted men from declared and limited, '3. Establishing a censorship over the but for the purpose of subjecting them to press, under himself, with his absolute and unconjecturable and unlimited punishment. inscrutable will, as censor : inviting, after Witness the Unitarians, and all others, publication with its expense has been com- who will not, at his command thus signified, pleted, applications to himself for prohi- defile themselves with insincerity, to purbition, with profit to himself in these, as in chase the common rights of subjects. all other instances.

' 11. Doing that which even Parlia64. Leaving the line of distinction between

ment would not dare to do, and because cases for open and cases for secret judica- Parliament would not dare to do it: doing ture, for so long as there is any, at all it, with no other warrant, than this or that times dependent on his own inscrutable

one of a multitude of words and phrases, and uncontrovertible will and pleasure, es- to which oue import as well as another may tablishing and continually extending the be assigned at pleasure. Witness tibel, practice of covering his own proceeding blasphemy, malice, cimtra bon:s mores, como with the cloak of secrecy.

spiracy, Christianity is purt and parcel of • 5. Rivetting, on the neck of the people, the law of the land: converting thus at the continually pinching yoke of an aristocratical magistracy, by rendering all relief innoxious acts, and even meritorious ones :

pleasure into crimes, any the most perfectly at the hands of the chancellor a3 hopeless, substituting thus, to legislative definition as, by artificial law expenses, and partici- and prohibition, an act of er post fueto pation in sinister interest and prejudice, it punishment, which the most consummate has been rendered, at the hands of the legal knowledge would not have enabled a judge.

man to avoid, and as to which, in many an 6. On pretence of heterodoxy, by er instance, perhaps, it was not intended that post facto law, made by a single judge for it should be avoided. the purpose,--divesting parents of the

* All this--which, under a really existguardianship of their own children.

ing constitution, grounded on the greatest: 7. Injecting into men's minds the happiness-principle, would furnish matter poison of insincerity and hypocrisy, by for impeachment upon impeachment,-furattaching to pretended misdeeds, suffer- nishes, under the imaginary matchless one, ings, from which, by an unpunishable and matter of triumph, claim to reward, and unprovable, though solemn act of insin- reward accordingly. cerity, the supposed misdoer may, in every . 12. Poisoning the fountain of history, case, with certainty exempt himself.

by punishing what is said of a departed * 8. In all manner of shapes, planting public character on the disapproving sideor fixing humiliation and anxiety in the while, for evidence and argument on the breasts of all, who, on points confessedly approving side, an inexhaustible fund of too obscure for knowledge, oppose him, or reward is left open to every eye: thus, by refuse to join with him, in the profession of suppression, doubling the effect of subornaopinions, in relation to which there is no

tion, of evidence. This by the hand of one better evidence of their being really his, of his creatures : his own hand, without than the money and power be lias obtained the aid of that other, not reaching quite far by the profession of them.

enough. "9. Pretending to establish useful truth

• The title Master of the Abuses, which by the only means by which success to

occurs in page 76, may perhaps have been pernicious falschood can ever be secured. thought to require explanation. It was Proclaiming, in the most impressive man- suggested by that of Master of the Revels, ner, the falsehood and mischievousness of coupled with the idea of the enjoymerits in every thing that is called religion,—by which he and his have for so many years punishing, or' threatening to punish, what. been seen revelling by the exercise given to soever is said in the way of controverting the functions of it. the truth or usefulness of it.

"The Mastership of the Revels being • 10. Bearding Parliament, by openly abolished, or in disuse,--the Mastership of declaring its incapacity to render unpunish the Abuses appears to have been silently

[ocr errors]

substituted ; and Lord Eldon presents him whatsoever he may have gained in the self as having been performing the functions shape of royal favour-source of future of the office, as yet without a salary: with contingent wealth,--does not present himhis masters in Chancery, serving under him self to us clothed in the spoils of any of his in the corresponding capacity, and on the slain. No man, no woman, no child did same generous footing, on the principle of Eldon ever kill, whose death had not, in the unpaid magistrucy. A subject for cal- the course of it, in some way or other, put culation might be-at what unno domini, money into pocket. In the language, the business of all the denominated offices, visage, and deportment of Jefferies, the possessed by those masters and their suffering of his victims produced a savage grand master respectively, will have been exultation : in Eldon's, never any interbrought into the state, into which, under ruption did they produce to the most his lordship’s management, that of the six amiable good humour, throwing its grace clerks has already been brought, together over the most accomplished indifference. with that of the six offices, with which the Jefferies was a tiger: Eldon, in the midst future services of his honourable son have of all his tears, like Niobe, a stone. been so nobly and generously remune- * Prophet at once and painter, another rated ?-at what halcyon period, these predecessor of Lord Eldon-Lord Bacon, offices will, with the rest, have been sub- has drawn his emblem. Behold the man limated into sinecures, and the incumbents (says he), who, to roast an egg for himself, apotheosed into so many Dii mujorum, or is ready to set another's house on fire! So Dii minoruni gentium of the Epicurean far so good: but, to complete the likeness, heaven?

he should have added-after having first To help conception, a short parallel gulted it. One other emblem-one other between the noble and learned lord, and prophecy. Is it not written in the Arabian his noble and learned predecessor Jefferies, Nights' Entertainments ? Sinbad the Sailor, may be not altogether without its use, Brittania : Old Man of the Sea, the LearnGeneral Jefferies had his one "campaign:" ed Slaughterer of Pheasants, whose prompt General Eldon, as many as his command deaths are objects of envy to his suitors.

The deaths of Jefferies's After fretting and pummelling, with no killed-off were speedy: of Eldon's, linger- better effect than sharpening the gripe,ing as his own resolves. The deaths of the Arabian slave, by one desperate effort, Lord Jefferies's victims were public--the shook off his tormenting master. The entire sufferers supported and comforted in their prophecy will have been accomplished, and affliction by the sympathy of surrounding the prayers of Brittannia heard, should so thousands : Lord Eldon's expired, unseen, happy an issue, out of the severest of all in the gloom of that solitude, which wealth her afflictions, be, in her instance, brought on its departure leaves behind it. Jefferies, to pass.'

lasted years,

OWEN'S LAMENTATION.

Ar! what are all the silent charms of mind,
By genius gifted, and by love refined
The melody of thought, which secret sings
Of themes sublime, sky, stars, and brightest things-
The shapes of fancy's breath-the world within,
Like blooming Eden, blighted not by sin-
Ah! what are all to him who hath not one
To love him here, or mourn for him when gone?
Ah! what are all when Beauty's eye but turns
To scorn the wretch desire of beauty burns ?
Vain, vain, ye sophists, who say mind is all-
That his alone are joys which will not pall !
0! there is sorrow in a world of sweets,
Where love is not, nor heart nor bosom meets !
The fowers must blow to please some cheering eye,
Or lonely man will lay him down and die

O.

[ocr errors]

SUPERSTITIONS OF THE IRISIL PEASANTRY.NO. VIII.
LOUGHLIAGH.

the drop o' milk; and, considering • Do you see that bit of a lake ? how times go, they weren't badly off, said my companion, turning his eyes for Shemus was a handy garsoon, to towards the aeclivity that overhung boot ; and, while minden the cow, cut Loughliagh.* · Troth, and as little heath and made brooms, which his as you think of it, and as ugly as it mother sould on a market-day, and - looks with its weeds and its flags, it is brought home the bit o' tobaccy, the the most famous one in all Ireland. grain of salt, and other nic-nackeries, Young andould, rich and poor, far and which a poor body can't well do near, have come to that lake to get widout. cured of all kinds of scurvy and sores. • Once upon a time, however, SheThe Lord keep us our limbs whole mus went farther than usual up the and sound, for it's a sorrowful thing mountain, looken for long heath; for not to have the use o' them. 'Twas town's-people don't like to stoop, and but last week we had a great grand so like long handles to their brooms. Frenchman here; and, though he The little dun cow was a most as cuncame upon crutches, faith he went nen as a Christian sinner, and followhome as sound as a bell; and well he ed Shemus, like a lap-dog, every paid Billy Reily for curing him.' where he'd go, so that she required

And, pray, how did Billy Reily little or no herden. On this day she cure him?

found nice picken on a round spot as Oh, well enough. He took his green as a leek; and, as poor Shemus long pole, dipped it down to the bot- was weary, as a body would be on a tom of the lake, and brought up on fine summer's day, he lay down on the top of it as much plaster as would the grass to rest himself, just as we're do for a thousand sores.'

resten ourselves on the Cairne here. • What kind of plaster?'

Begad, he hadn't long lain there, sure • What kind of plaster! Why enough, when, what should he see black plaster, to be sure : isn't but whole loads of ganconers dancthe bottom of the lake filled with a ing about the place? Some o' them kind of black mud, which cures all were hurlen, some kicking a footthe world ?'

ball, and others leaping a hick-step• Then it ought to be a famous and-a-lep. They were so soople and lake, indeed.'

so active that Shemus was highly de• Famous ! faith, and so it is,' re- lighted with the sport; and a little plied my companion:' but it isn't for tanned-skinned chap in a red cap its cures neather that it is famous; pleased him betther than any o'them, for, sure, doesn't all the world know bekase he used to tumble the other there is a fine beautiful city at the fellows like mushroons. At one time bottom of it, where the Good People he had kept the ball up for as good as live just like Christians ?'

half an hour, when Shemus cried out • Indeed!'

“Well done, my hurler!” The word Troth, it is the truth I tell you; wasn't well out of his inouth when for Shemus-a-sneidht saw it all when whap went the ball on his eye, and he followed his dun cow, that was flash went the fire. Poor Shemus stolen.'

thought he was blind, and roared out Who stole her?'

“ Mille murdher !” but the only • I'll tell you all about it. Shemus thing he heard was a loud laugh. was a poor garsoon, who lived on the “ Cross o’Christ about us,” says he to brow of the hill, in a cabin with his himself,“ what is this for?” and, afther ould mother. They lived by hook and rubbing his eyes, they came too a litby crook, one way and another, in the tle, and he could see the sun and best way they could. They had a bit sky; and, by-and-by, he could see o'ground that gave 'em the preaty, everything but his cow and the and a little dun cow, that gave 'em mischevious ganconers. They were

Loughliagh signifies the healing lake, or literally the doctor-lake, and derives its name from the healing properties of the bitumen found deposited at the bottom.

+ Little Janies.

6

« AnteriorContinuar »