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old woman; and not being under any “Why should not he do as well as personal obligations to her, I con- another ? You liked him well enough fess my acquiescence in the spirit of once." Captain Lake's remarks. She was The young lady coloured rather certainly perfectly neat and clean, but fiercely. white predominated unpleasantly in “ I'm not a girl of seventeen now, her costume. Her cotton gown had Stanley ; and-and, besides, I hate once had a pale pattern over it, but him.”. wear and washing bad destroyed its
d nonsense! I really tints, till it was no better than white, beg your pardon, Radie, but it is prewith a mottling of grey. She had á cious stuff. You are quite unreasonlarge white kerchief pinned with a able ; you've no cause to hate himgrisly precision across her breast, he dropped you because you droppel and a white linen cap tied under her him. It was only prudent; he had chin, fitting close to her head, like a not a guinea. But now it is different, child's night-cap, such as they were and he must marry you." in my young days, and destitute of The young lady stared with a border or frilling about the face. It haughty amazeinent upon hier browas a dress very odd and unpleasant ther. to behold, and suggested the idea of I've made up my mind to speak to an hospital, or a mad-house, or death, him; and if he won't I promise you he in an undefined way. She was past shall leave the coutry," said the sixty, with a mournful puckered and young man gently, just lifting his yelpuffy face, tinted all over with a thin low eyes for a second with another gamboye and burnt sienna glazing ; unpleasant glare. and very blue under the eyes, which I almost think you're mad, Stanshowed a great deal of their watery ley; and if you do anything so insane, whites. This old woman had in her sure I am you'll rue it while you live; face and air, along with an expression and wherever he is I'll find him out, of suspicion and anxiety, a certain and acquit myself, with the scorn I character of decency and respecta- owe him, of any share in a plot su bility, which made her altogether a unspeakably mean and absurd." puzzling and unpleasant apparition. Brava, brava! you're a heroine,
Being taciturn and undemonstra- Radie; and why the devil," he contive, she stood at the door, looking tinued, in a changed tone,“ do you with as pleased a countenance as so apply that insolent term to what I sad a portrait could wear, upon the purpose doing ?" young gentleman.
“I wish I could find words strong He got up at his leisure and greeted enough to express my horror of your “old Tamar," with his sleepy, amused plot--a plot every way disgusting. sort of smile, and a few trite words of You plainly know something to Mark kindness. So Tamar withdrew to Wylder's discredit; and you mean, prepare tea ; and he said, all at once, Stanley, to coerce him by fear into a with a sudden accession of energy, marriage with your penniless sister, and an unpleasant momentary glare who hates him. Sir, do you pretend
to be a gentleman ?" “You know, Rachel, this sort of “I rather think so," he said, with thing is all nonsense. You cannot yo a quiet sneer. on living like this ; you must marry- “Give up every idea of it this moyou shall marry. Mark Wylder is ment. Has it not struck you that down here, and he has got an estate Mark Wylder may possibly know and a house, and it is time he should something of you, you would not have marry you.
published?" Mark Wylder is here to marry my “I don't think he does. What do cousin, Dorcas; and if he had no such you mean ?? intention, and were as free as you
"On my life, Stanley, I'll acquaint are, and again to urge his foolish suit Mr. Wylder this evening with what upon his knees, Stanley, I would die you meditate, and the atrocious liberrather than accept him.'
ty you presume-yes, sir, though you “ It was not always so foolish a are my brother--the atrocious liberty suit, Radie," answered her brother, you dare to take with my name--unhis eyes once more upon the carpet. less you promise, upon your honour
in his eyes
now and here-to dismiss for ever the goons observe that oath-I hope so.
Captain Lake looked very angry give me some trouble, but you shan't
which depends upon frightening him,
Mark Wylder is as prompt
“There's no such liniste, Radie. I " Why, Radie, you know nothing only mentioned it. If you don't like of the world. Do you suppose I'm it, of course it can leail to nothing, quite demented ? Ask a gentleman and there's no use in my speaking to for his estate, or his watch, because I Wylder, and so there's an end of it.” know something to his disadvantage !
“There may be some use, a purpose Why, ha, ha! dear Radie, every man
the enigmatical face and downcast
Well, I hope so," she said at last,
with a sigh, and a slight sense of Upon my honour-there."
relief. “I believe, you gentlemen dra
LEGALIA. ---THE JUDICIAL OATH.
IF an unlearned person, using that tinuance, uncore prist, auterfois acterm in the sense of the ancient quit and auterfois attaint, general lawyers, were to walk into a complete issues and special innumerable. In law library, and survey the intermin- all, let us say briefly, there are two able rows of bulky tomes, the long millions and a half of rules and prinfiles of law-calf, shading off from the ciples in the law of England. And venerable
grey of four centuries ago then the Statute Law! Accumulatto the bright clear binding which ing from that time whereof the encompasses the reports of last year, memory of man runneth not counter, he might well ask with amazement and Parliament working away at how the laws relating to one little high pressure power for the last two country could possibly have expanded centuries, piling Ossa on Pelion, to so extravagant an extent. The Statutes enacting, then explaining, mystery might be a little cleared up, then extending, then amending the if he were aware that in truth he extending, and afterwards repealing saw before him three or four different the amending. As to which, being systems of law, varied according to on a legal subject, let us cite an authe varying requirements of three or thority. Lord Thurlow, the greatest four different ages of the world, yet of law bullies, having on a certain attempted, by refining, repealing, and occasion confidently laid down the amending, to be deduced the one law from the woolsack, was contrafrom the other, so that as each was dicted by a noble peer, who insistei laid on the shelf, it was professedly that the Chancellor had made a misreverenced in principle, while sup- take. Thurlow bid the interrupter to planted in practice. But he would sit down, and was proceeding accordnot be much enlightened by more ing to his usual fashion to rate him particular information as to what soundly for the liberty he had taken, was contained within those covers, when his opponent quietly produced old and new. Disquisitions, cases, the Act which directly contradicted and commentaries without end, on the Chancellor's proposition. That suffering, recoveries and springing high functionary listened with a uses, villains in gros and docking lowering countenance to the recital entails; writs innumerable as the of the section, and then drawing back stars of heaven, and almost as little. a step or two, gave the desk near him understood ; writs of latitat, for- an impressive thump, and exclaimed medon, quare impedit, ne admittas, emphatically, "
Dn the Act of and pluries capias ; together with Parliament! I knew I was right by capias in withernam* and mainprize, the Common Law; but as for the de odio et atia, and de homine reple- Acts of Parliament, the devil himself giando. Tenures without end, and could not remember them all.” which pass human understanding. To attempt to exhume all the venerTenures in frank almoign and éscuage, able relics of the old law would be grand sergeantry and petit sergeantry, to undertake a hopeless task; but castle guard and cornage, burgage, yet, topics of interest present themvillainage and socage; besides which selves in those four centuries of legisknight's service and divine service, lation and law reports. It is not to and then “Service in the General.” be supposed that the old formulas Pleadings, which seem more compre- and theories are senseless and unmeanhensive than human wrongs them- ing, because they sound absurd in our selves. Foreign pleas and pleas in ears now-a-days. The child's jacket bar, hors de son fee, with profert and looks a very foolish garment, if demanding oyer, puis darrein con- attempted to be stretched on the
* By which Sir Thomas More, when a student, puzzled a Professor of the University of Bruges, who offered to dispute with all comers on any given question. The learned Doctor aclmitted that he never met with anything in human literature similar to it
full-grown man ; but yet it is very reasons which appear to justify its suitable for the child. England, use. however, has long ago discarded the The origin of oath-taking is painskimp, worn-out vesture of the old fully plain. Men had not been long Common Law. The leaven of an- together before they discovered at cient legal principles is being rapidly once the necessity they were under of worked away from our judicial system. trusting to the statements and proThe quaint old rules, the exact science, mises of one another, and the strong which was preserved in all branches tendency to mendacity and breach of at any cost to justice in individual faith which was natural to man. cases, the scholastic reasoning, the They soon endeavoured to awe human veneration for precedent, are all nature into honesty, by invoking the being swept away before the advance supervision of some superior power of cheap, rapid, timely, we may add, on statements made, or contracts ensensible law. Before the ancient tered into. In rude, early times, the theories are quite abolished and object invoked varied with the fancy expire,” it may not be out of place and superstition of the oath-takers ; from time to time to consider them but the essence of the oath has ever in our pages in a popular way: remained the same; namely, an inWith much that was harsh and vocation of some superior influence crabbed, there was also in them much to bind the swearer to veracity or good that was noble and just; and, through faith. The carliest mention of a juages of universal ignorance and op- dicial oath is to be found in Levitipression, they preserved and main- cus, vi. 3:-"Or, have found that tained some principles which deserve which was lost, and lieth concerning to be rescued from oblivion.
it, and sweareth falsely." But where shall we begin? How Again, in Exodus, xxii. 10 and shall we attempt
11:"If a man deliver unto his “ The secrets of the hoary deep?"
neighbour an ass or an ox, to keep,
and it die, or be hurt, no man seeing Shall it be the old pleading, or ancient it; then shall an oath of the Lord be tenures, or the early criminal law ? between them both, that he hath not Preliminary, probably, to any of these put his hand unto his neighbour's comes the Judicial Oath. It lies at goods." the foundation of the laws and con- In the oath administered by Abrastitution of England. The King and ham to his servant, we have an exthe constable, the judge and the wit- ample of that extra-judicial swearness, the bishop and the curate, pro- ing which has been, and is, common fessional men of every class, and all to every rude nation. It was the responsible office-bearers, act under habit of the Jews, Egyptians, Greeks, the sanction of the oath.' Graduates and Romans, as it is that of all moin Universities are pledged on the dern nations and peoples, to swear a Book to disown the sovereignty in number of conversational oaths, many England of the Stuarts and the Pope. of which, in the old time, were free In tax offices, in police offices, in from that irreverence which is the sessions courts, in all the purlieus peculiar characteristic of colloquial of the great law courts, oaths are swearing now. To swear by some being incessantly proffered and taken. part of the body, the head, the beard, Do you launch into a Chancery suit to the right arm, by some particular and recover £100,000 ? You must verify appropriate deity, by some favourite your facts on oath. Do you summon animal, or any object of the speaker's an omnibus conductor ? You must admiration, were common invocations. swear precisely to the three half- The symbol of the early Roman civil pence he has extorted from you. oath was a flint-stone. The military That abuse has crept into the use of oath, the sacramentum, at first taken the formula is certain. Hence the voluntarily, was on the standards ; agitation which has been raised from by which the warrior swore never to time to time, and only quite recently desert his ranks, or prove false to his repeated, for its abolition. It may companions. The innumerable fornot then be uninteresting to glance at mulas for oath-taking, practised at the origin of the oath, its history different times, in different countries, in English jurisprudence, and the were long to tell ; but, in all, there is à reference to some object held in illustrated in the report of the trial respect by the swearer.
of Sir N. Throgmorton, for high treaIn the true form of oath the im- son, in the reign of Queen Mary. portant point is the invocation of the Sir Nicholas seems to have been a Deity. If there be not that distinct brave anıl even a testy defendant. invocation, there is no oath. This He fought his case with great skill principle, ever part of our law, was and courage, exhorting the judges not illustrated in the prosecution of the to be in a hurry to dine, but to Earl of Macelesfield for malversation. patiently listen to his argumenta The managers for the impeachment The Attorney-General pressed him had averred in their articles of accusa- with the confession of one Vaughan, tion, that the Earl, hy selling oflices in by whom he was in plicated, and he at his court, had broken the oath which once objected that Vaughan should he yearly took, as a Privy Councillor, be brought up to the court to give under 12 Richard II. That statute his testimony before them all. This runs thus :
was done, and then the report thus "Item.-- It is accorded that the chan
proceeds! cellor, treasurer, keeper of the privy seal, "Sendall (Clerk of the Crown). - Hom steward of the King's house, &c., &c., shall say you, Cuthbert Vaughan, is this your be firmly sworn, that they shall not
own confession, and will you abide by all ordain or name justices of peace, sheriffs, that is here written?' Vaughan.—Let me &c., &c., nor any other officer or minister of
see it and I will tell you.' Then his nathe King, for any gift or brocage, favour, fession was showed to him. Atomey-(ye or affection ; nor that none which pursueth neral.— Berisuse you of the jury the biter hy him or any other, privily or openly, to may credit liim, I pray you, my lorus, let be in any manner of office shall be put in Vaughan be sworn.' Then was Vaughan the same office or in any other."
sworn on a book to say nothing but the
truth." But the noble defendant replied, that he never took an oath to that Quite like this is the scene at Faitheffect, as all that passed at the annual ful's trial, in the “Pilgrim's Progress. meeting of the Privy Council to The witnesses who appeared were askchoose sheriff's was, that this old Act ed, “if they knew the prisoner at the was read, and then all present kissed bar, and what they had to say for the Bible, but no mention was made their Lord the King against him. of the Deity, and so there was no Then stood forth Envy, and said to oath. This was rather a disreputable this effect :-My lord, I have known plea for a Lord Chancellor to set up, this man a long time, and will attest but it was good, at least, in law. upon oath before this honourable
Though oath-taking was introduced bench, that he is? into England as early as A.D. 600, it "Judge. Hold ; sive him his was not till a much later period that oath.' the swearing of wituesses was con- “So they sware hina." sidered an essential preliminary to their This is probably not meant as giving testimony. "On the contrary, a satire on the professed impartiality there was, for a long time, an indis- of the judge, but to convey that when position among the lawyers to allow he found that Envy was hostile to the witnesses to be sworn at all, if they prisoner he hastened to invest bis were called as evidence against the testimony with the sanction of the King. Hawkins tells us, that there oath. Many illustrations might ive was a constant immemorial practice given from the state trials to show not to suffer witnesses to be sworn how the oath gradually crept into the for the prisoner in capital cases, add- judicial system. We read that on ing, that the “ Judges were always the trial of the Duke of Norfolk, in tender of departing from the settled 1571, the Queen's sergeant told the practice of their predecessors, and prisoner that the Bishop of Ross aegenerally choose rather to presume it cused him, and that he did this originally founded on some statute or being examined without compulother good foundation than to suffer sion." Duke.--He is a Scot.' Serthe reasonableness to be nicely in- geant.—' A Scot is a Christian man.' quired into, which might lead to end. The court, appearing to favour this less uncertainties."
theory of the sergeant's, the Duke This early practice is curiously next claimed that the Bishop should