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predominates. A flat denial is called the general issue, though to say what the issue will be is generally quite impossible. Special pleas in bar are very numerous; and one of these is the plea of justification or “Sarve him right,” as one of the old jurists humorously term it. Son assault demesne, is also a plea in bar, meaning that the plaintiff began the assault; so that the dot may put his black eye into the pleadings against the plaintiff's swelled nose, and if the blackness of the defendant's eye is older than the swelling of plaintiff's nose, and if the nose can be shown to have been the consequence of the eye, then, says, Stephen, “the eye will get the aye, and the nose the noes, from the jurymen who will have to give the verdict.” Another plea in bar is the statute of limitations, to prevent actions being brought except within certain periods; “for if there were no limit to the time,” says Spelman, “we should have the name of the Wandering Jew continually in the paper, as plaintiff in the courts at Westminster.” There is one more plea in bar, called an estoppel, or, as “the boys’ would call it, a regular stopper to the action. It arises when the plaintiff has done something or other by which he has estopped himself; as, if at backgammon one party does not take a man that he o have taken, he may be huffed, and is clearly estopped from taking afterwards. After the plea comes the replication, or reply, which is the plaintiff's, “Yes, you did,” to the defendant’s “No, I didn't.” The defendant may then rejoin, by saying, “I tell you I didn't,” when the plaintiff may put in a sur-rejoinder, saying, “You may deny it as you please, but you did though for all that;” when the defendant may rebut, by refusing to have it at any price, and the plaintiff then winding up by way of sur-rebutter, with “You’re another; ” the parties are at last supposed to be tired out, and to have come to an issue. This occurs when there is something distinctly affirmed on one side, and denied on the other, divested of any of the rigmarole and prevarication by which the parties are for a long time kept from arriving at anything definite.
OF THE TRIAL BY JURY.
IT is difficult to get the British bosom into a sufficiently tranquil state to discuss this great subject; for every Englishman's heart will begin bounding like a tremendous bonse, at the bare mention of trial by jury. This splendid palladium of our rights and umbrella of our liberties has sheltered us according to some since the time of Woden, but as it is very doubtful whether twelve honest men could be got together in those primaeval, or, as Mr. Selden calls them, prime evil days, we must date the invention of trial by jury at a later period. The trial by jury is of course a subject that every true rn Briton with a quarter of a pint of Saxon blood in his veins is prepared to revel in; but as the imagination starts wildly off, reason whispers “ease her— stop her,” and feeling our ardour checked we proceed to give a common sense account of what trial by jury really is or really ought to be. en A puts himself on the country and B does the like, then A and B have thrown themselves on the indulgence of a British jury box. When the jurors are called, and sworn, they may be challenged; that is to say, they may be called out of the box, by either arty to whom they do not give satisaction. The challenging being disposed of, (if any,) and the jury sworn, which is accomplished in three quartetts, all swearing together in unison, the trial commences by the counsel's speech, which is sometimes a very great trial for those who are obliged to listen to it. If he can support his case by his evidence it is well and good, until the other counsel makes another speech and brings other testimony of an exactly opposite character. This gives the first counsel a right to reply, which causes much bewilderment to the jurymen, who are further puzzled by the summing up of the id: the usher's cries for o, and the per* talking of the briefless barristers. n this condition the British jurymen are expected to agree in their verdict, and if they can't they are hurried out of court and locked up in a kitchen, or perhaps a coal cellar, till they are agreed, when the twelve honest Britons are released from their imprisonment. It would be right down blasphemy to doubt the integrity of a British jury, and, indeed, “trial by jury” is a popular motto for a banner with several societies of Old Fellows; but we have nevertheless heard of that great bulwark of our liberties tossing up occasionally, when a verdict could not be otherwise agreed upon. It has been held that if iurors do not make up their minds before the assize terminates in a particular town, the judge is to drive them on to the next place in a cart, but as the verdict would not be worth the expense of carriage, it is usual to discharge the jury rather than carry it about the country, till, it has made its mind up. Such is trial by jury the bulwark in which John Bull can walk triumphantly, the buttress of our rights, the clothesprop of our liberties, the cloak-pin of law, and the hat-peg of equity.
THE MYSTERY OF GILGAL.
[John HAY, was b. Ill. 1839: educated at Brown University; admitted to the Illinois bar; and in 1861 was private secretary to President Lincoln. For a time after the assassination of the President, he served as staff officer in the army. In 1865 he was secretary of the American legation in Paris, and in 1868 in the same position in Madrid.
He returned in 1870 and took an editorial position on the New York Tribune. He has published Pike County Ballads and Castilian Days.]
THE darkest, strangest mystery
I ever read, or heern, or see,
Is 'long of a drink at Taggart's Hall— Tom Taggart's of Gilgal.
I've heern the tale a thousand ways,
But never could git through the maze
That hangs around that queer day's doin's; But I'll tell the yarn to youans.
Tom Taggart stood behind his bar,
The time was fall, the skies was far,
The neighbours round the counter drawed, And ca'mly drinked and jawed.
At last come Colonel Blood of Pike,
And old Jedge Phinn, permiscus-like,
And each, as he meandered in,
Tom mixed the beverage full and far,
And slammed it, smoking, on the bar;
Some says three fingers, some says two— I'll leave the choice to you.
Phinn to the drink put forth his hand; Blood drawed his knife, with accent bland: “I ax yer parding, Mister Phinn— Jest drap that whisky-skin l’”
I've sarched in vain, from Dan to Beer
Sheba, to make this mystery clear; |
But I end with hit as I begin,--
THE ENCHANTED SHIRT.
The King was sick. His cheek was red,
He ate and drank with a kingly zest,
But he said he was sick, and a king should
At last two famous doctors came,
He had passed his life in studious toil,
The other had never looked in a book; His patients gave him no trouble:
If they recovered, they paid him well; If they died, their heirs paid double.
NIGHTS AT SEA,
ort 8KETCHES OF NAVAL LIFE DURING THE WAR.
(With an Illustration after Cruikshank.) BY THE OLD SAILOR.-LIEUT. HOWARD.
THE WHITE SQUALL.
I was born in a cloudy sulphureous hue—
My last, left the gallant Spankaway with her three topmasts over the side; and a very natural question arises, “How did it happen?” Her commander was as smart an officer as ever lived; an excellent disciplinarian when on duty, a thoroughly brave man, but not much of a seaman; — he was of a happy turn of mind himself, and nothing afforded him greater pleasure than to see everybody else, happy around him. On service no one could be more strict; but he loved to see his officers surrounding his mahogany; and not one amongst them was more jovial than Lord Eustace Dash.
On the evening in question, Old Parallel had glanced at the glowing clouds in the west; but the invitation to the Captain's cabin had driven the circumstance from his remembrance, and, whilst clinging to port, he thought but little of a storm at sea. Mr. Sinnitt was the lieutenant of the watch; but on such occasions, when there was no apprehension of danger, the mate was allowed to assume the command of the deck, and his superior joined his messmates over the flowing bowl.
The evening was delightfully serene, and groups of seamen clustered together spinning yarns, conversing on things in general, or singing songs in a low tone, so as not to #. the sacred character of the quarter-deck; where, however, the young gentleman left in charge was drawing round him a little knot of fa
vorite youngsters, eager to take advantage of the relaxation of discipline. Some were attentively listening to the hilarity going on in the captain's cabin, -for the heat had rendered it necessary to open the skylights; others were paying equal attention to the vocal talents of honest Jack, who, if he did not possess quite so much grace or talent as his superiors, made ample atonement for the deficiency by his peculiar and characteristic humour. Here and there, the treasured grog was served out with scrupulous exactness, exciting many a longing and envious eye. As in communities on shore, every ship had its choice spirits, its particular and especial jokers, songsters, and tale-tellers —and, not unfrequently, that pest to society, the plausible pettifogger, whose head, like that of a ja lawyer, was constantly filled with proclamations. The moon shone with a crystalline clearness, and the gentle motion of the frigate threw the shadows of the people in corresponding movements on the deck, resembling the ombres Chinois that delighted us so much in boyhood. The look-outs were posted at their appointed stations; some with a shipmate to bear them company—others alone, and thinking upon merry England. “I say, Bill!” uttered the captain of the forecastle, addressing one of the men, as he was looking to windward from the cat-head—or, as it was more generally termed, “Old Savage's picture-gallery,’— “I say, Bill! somehow or another I don’t much like the looks o' the sky thereaway; to my thinking it's some’at fieryeyed.’ “Gammon l’” returned the man without moving from his position. “I’d ha’ thought you would have known better, Jem's Well, I'm blowed if we mayn't live and larn as long as there's a flury o' breath in the windsel! Why, that's ounly the pride o' the sun, to show his glory to the last; would you have him go out like a purser's dip, a spark and away?” “No, Bill, I loves to see agood sunset,” rejoined the other; “and I never see'd finer than what I’ve see'd in these here seas. It's some’at strange to my thinking, though, messmate, that God A’ mighty should have made this part o' the world so beautiful, and yet have put such dlousy, beggarly rascals to live in it! Look at them there Italians, with no more pluck about 'em than this here cat-head!” “Nay, shipmates,” said the serjeant of marines, who had just joined them, “you do yourselves injustice. I hope there is some pluck about the cat-head, though there may be none in it. But you say right—perfectly right, as it regards those lazy-roany: they are a d-set, to be sure! But, their women, Jem—their women Oh! they're dear, delicious, lovely creaturs l’’ “Mayhap they may be to your thinking,” responded the captain of the forecastle rather contemptuously: “but give ine a good, hearty, right-arnest, fullplump, flesh-and-blood Englishwoman; and none o' your skinny, half-starved, sliding - gunter...legged, spindle-shank sinoreas for me!” “You manifest a shocking want oftaste, shipmate,” returned the serjeant, proudly, and bringing himself to a perpendicular. “The Italian women are considered the most lovely women in the world.” “Tell that to the marines, ould chap!” chimed in a boatswain's mate, who now made a fourth in the party. “The most lovely women in the world, eh? Why, Lord love your foolish heart! I wouldn't give my Mrs. Sheavehole for all that Italy could stow, take it from stem to starn.” “She's your wife, Jack, and the mother of your children,” argued the serjeant: “but that cannot make her a bit the more of a beauty.” “Can't it, though 1” exclaimed the boatswain's mate, sharply, and at the same time giving the mountain of tobacco in his cheek a thorough twist. “If it don't, then I’m d-1 and, setting a case, it's just this here: when we first came within hail of each other, she was as handsome a craft as ever had God A’mighty for a builder; every timber in her hull was fashioned in Natur's own mould-loft, and she was so pinned and bolted together that each plank did its own proper duty.” “But she's declining in years, you know, Jack,” urged the serjeant, provokingly; “ and though she might have been once handsome, yet age is a sad defacer of beauty.” “And suppose it is a facer of beauty, it can't change the fashion of the heart!” uttered the boatswain's mate. “But, that's just like you jollies!—all for paint and
pipe-clay. Now, Suke's as handsome to me as ever she was; and when I sees her like an ould hen chucking over the young uns, I'm blessed if I don't love her more than when she saved me from having m back scratched by the tails o' the cat! know, when a craft is obliged to be unrigged and laid up in ordinary, she don't look not by no manner o' means so well as when she was all-taunto, and painted as fine, as a fiddle: but still, shipmates, she's the same craft; and as for beauty, why, setting a case, it's just this here: there's ould beauty, as well as young beauty; and it a'n't so much in the figurehead, or the plank-shear, as having done your duty once, and ready to do it again.” “All that may be very true, Jack,” persevered the serjeant; “but then, you must allow there is as great a difference in the appearance of some women when compared to others, as there is in the build or rig of a vessel.” “Hearken to that, now!” responded the boatswain's mate. “Do you think, Jack Sheavehole wants to be told that a billyboy arn’t a ninety-eight, or a Dutch schuyt a dashing frigate? But look at this here craft that rolls us so sweetly over the ocean: aren't she as lovely now as when she first battered her bottom on the slip and made a bed for herself in the water? and won't she be the same beauty when she's put out of commission, and mayhap be moored in Rotten-row 7 Well, she's stood under us in many a heavy gale, and never yet showed i. starn to an enemy, that's why I love her; not for what she may do, but for what she has done.” “But, I say, Jack l it's just the time for a yarn,” said the captain of the forecastle. “Tell us how Luke saved you from the gangway.” “I will messmate—I will,” returned the other; “and then this lubberly jolly shall see if I arn’t got a good right to call her a beauty. I belonged to the Tapsickoree, two-and-thirty; and, though I says it myself, there warn’t many more sich tight-looking, clean-going lads as ould Jack Sheavehole—though I warn’t ould Jack then, but areg’lar smart, active, young blowhard of a maintopman. Well, we'd just come home from foreign parts, and got three years' pay and a power o' prize money; and so most o' the §. goes ashore on liberty, and carries on till all's