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Is placed on the wains, no damage sustains,
High in the Vatican's vestibule :
Makes his nose red as coral, and quite as cool.
And monarchs, who bowed to the papal rule;
Spirally rising in many a row,
Whatever his need is,
Such as Archimedes,
Who, yoked to the wagon, triumphantly drag on
Even Kilkenny Joe
Would have ceased to be so
Of our ministry's Liston
Would work laughter's piston, And pump tears of merriment over the place. Signal the second! A banner of blue The architect waves to the multitude's view! The mechanics true the huge pillar up-slue, Slowly and steadily, just as the crew Of the Shannon could tow on the proud Chesapeake,
When Britain's brave tars
Whipt the stripes and the stars,
Waves a banner of white.
Why shudders with fright
Now all is still
As the heath on the hill;
When the gaoler, Barbone,
Sings out to a croney “ To fetch the signora a goblet of water."
"Αριστον μεν ύδωρ. “ Water!" the architect shouted with joy.
“ Wet the ropes !” They contract! and the column is now
Poised o'er the centre. ''Tis fix'd! and each brow
eyes, and with agony sighs : But starts as the joy-shouts are rending the skies.
At Pope Gregory's beck,
My lord cardinal sec.
Dipped deep in the bowl,
And every sweet soul
Spirit of Jack Reeves !
The Mathewite believes
And so perhaps it is,
If the beverage be riz
TIIE CONDEMNED CELLS.
FROM THE NOTE-BOOK OF THE ORDINARY.
Althougů crime is still rife in the land of Britain, it is consolatory to know that, notwithstanding the recent relaxation of the terrors of the law, violence to the person is not so frequent an attendant on robbery as it was some twenty years since.
Formerly, burglaries were so often attended with murder, that not only was the government called on to offer large rewards for the discovery of offenders, but the crown so far extended its prerogative as to offer a free pardon to one criminal that the conviction of other accomplices might be effected.
These measures were deemed necessary for carrying out the ends of justice on the guilty ; how far these objects have been attained by the exercise of the prerogative may be worth inquiry
However satisfactory it may be to the public, who in all ages have generally been too fond of the ler talionis, to witness the execution of some human being for every murder committed, those who know the secrets of the prison-house, and are as it were behind the wicket, have many horrible facts to communicate connected with the modus operandi of king's evidence, especially some years since, from which many important inferences may be deduced as to the policy of continuing the practice.
The crime of murder, when made known, brings to the mind so many feelings of horror, and even dread, that the public are seldom easy until the vengeance of the law has been executed on the supposed offender. Out of this, perhaps morbid, anxiety for a victim to expiate the crime of murder on the scaffold has arisen the practice of receiving the evidence of an accomplice,-a practice which, it is much to be feared, has, on the whole, more thwarted than furthered the ends of justice.
We may probably be reminded, that the proclamations for promoting impeachments by accomplices always
include the reservatory words,“ cept the actual murderer." But he who has been the actual cause of death is not always the most guilty party. Let us illustrate this (to many) anomalous proposition by one actual case.
We would not be understood, in the case we are about to give, to question the judgment of the court ; our object is only to shew, that even in cases of murder it frequently happens, that when the authorities think they award the severest punishment to the most guilty in a gang of robbers, they are mistaken.
A., a known blood-thirsty character, proposed to C. and ”, that they should join him in committing a burglary where a good booty was expected.
" I've no objection to the swag," said B.; " but if we go out together, mind I'll have no crokers (dead men). If we can't do our business without them, why, then, I'd sooner follow some other game." C. agreed with B., both consenting to join in the robbery, on the express condition of no violence being offered to any person.
The same night, the thieves entered into a house occupied by a single gentleman and his housekeeper, who was deaf. The booty not being found where it was cxpected, they agreed to proceed to the gentleman's sleeping-room, and search there,— both B. and C. again protesting that they would have no violence used beyond that of restraining him from leaving the house to give an alarm.
The gentleman, either having no concealed property, or, being obstinate, refu to disclose where it was. A. became irritated from disappointment, and menaced the gentleman, who was sitting up in his bed, every moment becoming more furious and minatory, till at length the ruffian actually aimed a blow at the unfortunate gentleman's head
with a small crow-bar. B. arrested pose of illustrating a particular inhis arm with one hand, while with stance of the effect of admitting the the other he forced the brutal assail- evidence of approvers in cases when ant from the spot. C., while this their own lives are in danger. On was going on, kept watch at the the contrary, it is only one out of a door, still commanding a view of the number which can be attested by room; and, witnessing the attempt of evidence equally forcible, if the A., rushed forward to assist B. in statements and confessions of dying preventing a fatal result. The gen
be adduced in support of tleman, then becoming alarmed, sud- their being founded on the basis of denly sprang out of bed, and seizing truth. a sword which hung near him, made There may be persons who would a pass at B., whose back was towards remind us that, after all, no great him. The latter, feeling himself mischief was wrought in the case we wounded in the shoulder, turned have cited, as all the parties, ab round, and with a blow from his initio, went out to commit a crime clenched fist knocked the gentleman that was punishable with death. down. A., who had recovered him- To reason with those who would self, then turned round, and levelled justify a legal wrong on such grounds a blow with the before-named bar, will be a waste of time. There were which he still held in his hand, at shades - nay, marked lines—of difthe fallen gentleman's head, which ference in the turpitude of the caused instant death.
offenders. By the words of the proB. and C. immediately denounced clamation, the authorities gave proof their comrade as a blood-thirsty of their desire to distinguish these villain, and left the house, resolving shades of lines of guilt. Did they never again to be associated with him effect their object? We have seen. in any other scheme of robbery. The most guilty of the three escaped,
All the property stolen on that and received, too, a large reward for night was subsequently carried off by his crime,—that of murder, be it reA.
membered. The next in guilt -- he A few days after this murder was who knocked the murdered gentleperpetrated, a proclamation was is- man down, as he said, in self-defence sued, offering a reward and promise -was transported. The third-a of pardon to any accomplice, not the guilty man, certainly-who interactual murderer, who would impeach posed to save the loss of life, was his companion in the crime.
executed. A. was the first to avail himself of We need only ask whether it was this offer; and making out his own the object of those who caused the statement of the affair, caused the proclamation to be issued, to reward execution of C. and the transporta- and set at liberty, armed with intion of B. These particulars were demnity for the past against punishfirst collected from the malefactor ment, a ruffian that had committed a that suffered ; they were also con- murder, that even his accomplices firmed by his companion, whose denounced as being the effect of a sentence of death was commuted to blood-thirsty disposition. Certainly that of transportation; and, finally, not. Then the authorities failed in were verified by the actual murderer, their object. If it be asked, How who a few years subsequently was often the exercise of the prerogative executed at the Old Bailey for a si- in similar cases succeeds ? the remilar brutal offence.
ply may be, in proportion of one to Thus, in a moral sense, the evi- five. dence of the truth of the statement Touching the question of incidental is derived from a better source (if we murders, attendant on the commission consider the motives such characters of minor offences- that is, where have to withhold the truth) than robbers go out to commit a crime any collected in open courts of law: without any intention of taking life “ Hora mortis, hora veritatis." --- a few remarks here may not be
out of place. All homicides in law It must not be supposed that this are included under three heads : 1, case has been selected as one of pe- justifiable ; 2, excusable ; 3, feculiarity or insulation, for the pur- lonious. However desirable it may be
VOL. XXIV. NO. CXXXIX.
that all laws should be as definite as with his iron-tipped boot, and thus causes they can be expressed in language, his death. In such a case a trespass yet the attempt to trace and mark ali would bave been committed, damage of the shades of difference which may
which might be sixpence; but the falloccur under the three heads of homi
ing was no trespass, yet under the con. cide must in the very nature of
struction of the law the boy must be
hanged." things fail. Few cases, when all the circumstances are taken into consi- “ That is law,” says Sir E. Coke, deration, are alike. There is also, a doctrine to which the judges of the arising out of the natural horror all present day respond una voce. So, if mortals have of death, a great indis- a starving man, who snatches a penny position among all classes of mankind, loaf from a baker's shop, and in his in an investigation as to the causes of speed to escape with it runs against a violent death, to seek for the shades another, and causes his death, he is of difference, or acknowledge them guilty of murder. when found. Murder is murder Previously to the very judicious they affirm, and is unlike any other alterations of the law in cases of crime, having no extenuating points manslaughter, many convictions for connected with it.
murder occurred which strictly did Most legal writers agree, that to not come within the meaning of the constitute a murder, the killing must legal definition of that offence; while have a forethought, and be of malice numbers escaped, or only received a prepense. Bacton, fol. 134, in his minor punishment under charges of time, defined murder curiously aggravated manslaughter, which juenough :
ries thought did not amount to mur“ The secret killing of a man, when
der, as the definition of that crime none besides the killer or his com. was explained from the bench. panions saw or knew it; so that it was The number of crimes, both of not known who did it, nor fresh suit enormity and minor kinds, has precould be made after the doer ; therefore, sented a sufficiently formidable array every such killing was called murder, of delinquency at all periods of because it could not be known whether
British history, without straining the it could be felony or not; for a man law to increase the calendar, or holdmay be found dead that kills bimself, or
ing out encouragement to the guilty was lawfully killed by another. This
for the commission of new crimes, by name of murder came to be more horrid when it was secretly done, so that it
swearing away the lives of their less made every man to consider of their
guilty companions, and painting the own danger, and him that saw the dead
blotted surface of society wholly body to boggle at it, as a horse will do at
black. a dead horse."
However desirable it may be that By the fiction of our law, the
the law should be acquitted, the pubjudges have made out malice afore
lic ought never to be led to exult in thought to consist in going out to
the conviction or punishment of an commit any illegal act; and that in
offender. They should be rather consequence, if death occur out of
induced to deplore the necessity of that act, it is a murder within the de
punishment, and know as little as finition of the law.
possible of the aggregate amount of
crime in the country. St. Jermain, in his Doctor and Student, ridicules this reading of the
It is a mistaken policy which law, and puts the following hypo- prompts judges to pull at the legal thetical case, illustrative of the fal
net-work, and strive to make it cover lacy of this reasoning
more space than legislators mea
sured it for. "A boy enters an orchard, while out on a ramble, to steal apples, for the pur.
Reverting to the subject which is
more immediately the object of this pose of allaying his thirst, and climbs up
chapter, namely, Approvers, it must a tree, the owner of which sees him, re. pairs to the spot with a cart-whip, and
be the opinion of those who administhreatens the offender with a severe
ter the laws, that the man who is the flogging. The boy, in his alarm and
actual murderer of a fellow-creature precipitancy to escape, falls from the in the presence of accomplices will tree on the man, and breaks his neck, or be the first to avail himself of the unavoidably strikes him on the head offer to commit a perjury, and there