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scamp to have been able to keep up as having been annexed to the freesuch a plausible consistency, such a hold, or to the administrator of the devraisemblante air—throug?.out. Some ceased tenant, or to a creditor of his, letter was handed up to the Judge in who held a bill of sale of all his goods, favour of the character of the first chattels, and effects
or to the vendee wife, whom it represented to be a so- of the sheriff who had seized it under ber and industrious woman. It was a fi.fa. !—Whether little sweeps were also admitted that the prisoner had distrainable for the rent due, from the fairly told the wornan whom he had master chimney-sweeper ;* and if so, last married all that he had represent- who was to feed them while they were ed himself as having told her. The in custodia legis ;t and whether it was Judge, having made some just remarks a conversion of them, for the distrainupon the deplorable ignorance on the er to set any of them about sweeping subject of marriage and divorce which a chimney of his own ;f or whether, in seemed to be evinced by the prisoner, such a case, their master, the tenant, and which he sincerely hoped were being entitled to their earnings, ought not prevalent notions in those parts, to sue for them, in case, or assumpsit; instructed the jury that their verdict or, if the little sweeps should be sold must of course be guilty, as the pri- towards satisfaction of the rent, and if soner had confessed all that he stood one of them should not go away with charged with. He was immediately, the vendee, whether the latter could therefore, found guilty. The Judge justify an assault in compelling him; pointed out to him fully and distinctly who was entitled to the clothes of one the heinous nature of the offence of of the little sweeps, if he should die bigamy, and the utter absurdity of his while under distress—and who would notions respecting the relation of mar- be bound to bury him!-Who was enriage, and the mode of dissolving it. titled to a small slip of land which it He might be transported for what he was impossible that any one could use, had done ; but as he seemed to have and other the like grave and importacted ignorantly, and had, especially, ant matters. But as I heard enough frankly told the woman whom he of them in town, I did not see any parcalled his second wife of the fact that ticular reason for waiting to see them his first wife was living, and as he had dealt with on that particular occasion, already suffered several months' im- especially as I happened to have no prisonment since his committal to retainers in any of the above interestgaol
, his Lordship thought the ends of ing causes. So, about three o'clock, justice would be answered by the in- I went to see the Docks, and also to fliction of a lenient sentence that of bathe in the Baths, erected by the late six weeks' further imprisonment. He corporation on the quay. The former was then removed from the dock. were a wonderful object! Dock after
Nothing further, of interest, I un- dock, of very large size, of most comderstood, would transpire in the court plete construction, was crammed with that day; so I went into the civil ships of all sorts, sizes, and countries, court, where Mr. Justice Coleridge so closely packed, that the only wonpresided. Here you might listen to der was very different matters—a painfully in “how the d--I they got there!" teresting dispute, for instance, be- or were to get out again. It was tween a landlord and his tenant as to certainly a proud and splendid specwhich of them was entitled to an old tacle for the eye of an Englishman. rusty padlock; or whether a brass What an idea it gave one of our comfarthing, which had been discovered mercial greatness! What order and between the boards of the floor, be- system were evident every where ! longed to the heir of the reversioner, An hour had passed away before we
See all the authorities as to the power to distrain cats, parrots, monkeys, rabbits, and canaries, collected in Woodfall's Landlord and Tenant, p. 316 (2d ed.)
+ See now stat. 5 and 6 Will. IV.c. 59, § 4, requiring parties impounding cattle to provide sufficient food for them.
A man shall not abuse a distress.-Com. Dig. Distress (D. 6.) So a man cannot work cattle distrained, 1. Leon. 220; and see the late case of Scott v. Newington, 1 Mor, and Robinson, 252.
seemed to have seen above a fourth of haps, as usual—wonderi ng, it might
, for fear of breaking my head -let those who may be selected for against any of the sides. Neverthe- such an office-poor devils !--look to lese
, I bathed in it almost every day it; they will never be commissioners that I was in the town. On return again, at least on this side of the grave! ing to my lodgings, I saw a little A glorious body of Tories, by the crowd collected round a low door-way wav, is the Northern Circuit !
On in the church-wall, near the river'; making minute inquiries, there are which I found, on inquiry, to be a dead certainly to be discovered a few who house, where were placed the bodies farcy themselves of opposite opinions of those who had been found drown- -it may be that they do it to prevent ed, or had otherwise met an unex, the wearisomeness of a circuit unaniplained death. There had been just mous in politics; or they may have placed in it the body of a man who really persuaded themselves that had been, only a quarter of an hour be. Whig and Radical opinions are the fore, taken out of the water. Whether best to live by; if so, they are, neverhis death had been wilful, or acciden- theless, very quiet and inoffensive peotal, was unknown; but there, poor ple, and we do not interfere with coul! he lay, in a large common black them !! shell, his.silk handkerchief spread over his face, and his hat, apparently a new
Can an observer of human nature one, with his gloves in it, placed upon have a richer field laid before him than his breast. He was dressed very re a Court of Criminal Justice? Amongst spectably; in a blue body-coat, light mankind there is nothing so solemn Waistcoat, black trowsers and Wel- and affecting as startling adumbrabngton boots ; and, as far as we could tion of hereafier !-man sitting in judgconjecture, he seemed of middle age. ment upon his fellow man, searching, What a miserable object he looked ! as far as his means will allow him, thus, in the garb of the living, in- into the hidden springs of action, proclosed in the narrow dwelling of the tecting innocence from the imputation dead! Who was he? What friends and consequences of guilt, detecting and relatives were suddenly bereaved and inflicting proportionate punish..what wife and children were at ment upon guilt, even to the taking that moment unconscious widow and away of life itself! There, at the orp'ans? expecting him home, per. bar-all eyes anxiously settled upon VOL. XLIV.
him-stands, in terrified or sullen build, with light hair, rather protusilence, an individual, whose conduct berant cheek-bones and upper lip. in a particular transaction is the sub- His countenance wore an air of mingled ject of inquiry; who knows, and pro- sullenness and anxiety, but its general bably alone, among men, knows that expression and character would not he is guilty of the crime with which have led me to imagine him capable he stands charged; one word from of committing such crimes as he was whose damp and rigid lips would in- charged with. I know a member of stantly clear up the whole mystery, Parliament whose countenance is the supply the essential link of evidence, exact counterpart of the culprit's. He throw light on the darkest train of was dressed respectably, in a blue body. circumstances, and reconcile the most coat, with brass buttone, a black stock, discrepant and inconsistent facts. He Valentia waistcoat, which was very stands cold and benumbed within the open, displaying a full plaited shirtpanoply of legal protection against front. He stood at about a foot's disself-crimination—knowing that not a tance from the front of the dock, holdsign or a syllable can be extorted from ing a coloured silk pocket handkerhim. His heart, nevertheless, sud- chief between his closed hands, from denly shrinks—the blood deserts, for which he sometimes slowly wiped the a moment, his flushed cheek-as his perspiration—a posture which he never guilty soul feels that his pursuers are varied during the whole time of his pressing, though in the dark, closer trial. He seemed a young man of slow and closer upon the truth of the trans- and dull feelings, which, consequently, action! He is, perhaps, inwardly curs- he had little difficulty in controlling. ing himself for his folly in having said He never raised his eyes towards or done, or omitted to do, something, the jury, judge, or witnesses, and only while about the perpetration of his once or twice evinced any emotion crime, which his accusers have got hold drawing a long heavy breath, and of, and are pressing home upon him, his cheek flushing, as one or two of and upon his jury, with dreadful strength the most striking points of the evidence of inference and conclusion. And there made their appearance-to him prois his judge, well versed in such inqui- bably unexpectedly. His name was ries—the occasional glance of whose Hill; and he stood charged with havpractised eye, which he feels upon him, ing committed the threefold crime of shoots a thrill of terror into his soul, murder, rape, and robbery, upon the for he knows that he has found him person of an elderly female, one Betty out, and that a few words of his will Minshull, at Warrington, under cirpresently clear away the previous doubt cumstances, many of them unfit for and uncertainty that may be felt by detail-mail of them of horrid atrocity. the jury, who, charged with the issues -One's flesh crept as one looked at of life and death, will soon utter the the man standing so near us, and supfearful word
posed him capable of committing some
of the acts with which he was charged. $" That summons him to heaven or to
-The evidence against him was eni hell!”
tirely circumstantial. One of the witSuch is an imperfect expression of the nesses proved an admission to him, by thoughts which were passing through the prisoner, of his having committed my mind, when, one morning, a little two of the three offences of which he after nine o'clock, I entered the Crown was accused; and it was when this Court, which was crowded to suffoca- was being deposed to that his cheeks tion; but the only sound that met my suddenly flushed all over. He had, ear was the voice of counsel stating probably, till that moment, forgotten to the jury the facts of a frightful having made such a damning acknowcase of murder, while he pointed, as ledgment. he went on, in illustration of his state Betty Minshull was, if I recollect ment, to an elaborate model of the rightly, the landlady of a small public. premises where the alleged crime had house, in one of the outhouses of been perpetrated. At the bar stood which her body had been found early he whose life depended on the issue of one morning-death having been ef. that day's inquiry. He was a young fected by strangulation. It was proved man of apparently four-and-twenty that, late on the preceding night, years of age, of average height and the prisoner had been at the public
house ; that he was the last of the “Do you mean to say, sir,” sternly few visiters who had then been there; interposed Mr. Justice Pattison and that she had, good-naturedly, turning towards him, " that you pregiven him a glass of ale which stood sumed to examine the prisoner at the on the table just as he was going. bar as soon as he came into your Shortly afterwards a woman living custody?" in one of the adjoining houses heard “ Yes, my Lord, I did,” he replied, violent screams issuing from that with a confident air, “and can state quarter of the premises in question exactly”. where the body had been discovered. “ Then let me tell you, sir," interThey were at first loud and violent, rupted Mr. Justice Pattison, with an but became gradually fainter till indignant air, " that you have actthey ceased. Though these sounds ed with the highest impropriety, conhad surprised the witness, they had trary to the law of the land—and not sufficiently alarmed her to induce have taken a shameful advantage of her to suspect any thing so serious as your situation. How dared you to do turned out to have taken place; so so, sir? Pray is this a practice of she did not rise from bed to in- yours ?" quire about them. · On the morning * Yes, my Lord, it is," replied the of that day the prisoner had met a witness, doggedly, but with a sadly man whom he knew, and whom, with crest-fallen air. a strange and fatal communicative “ Then I tell you, sir, that I have pess, he told a part of what he had a very great mind to cause you to be been doing ; that he had been hav- dismissed immediately from a situation ing a lark with Betty Minshull” – which you don't know the duties of. and had left her asleep, having first You have been guilty of misconduct taken out of her pocket some money, in your office, sir. You ought to know a knife, and a snuff-box; that he had that the law gives you noauthority whatthrown the last article into a mill- ever to ask a single question of any pond in the neighbourhood of the prisoner committed to your custody, spot where they were then standing. with a view to finding out whether he It was subsequently searched, on sus. is guilty of what he is charged with. picion being excited against Hill- God forbid, indeed that persons of and discovered lying at the bottom. your description should ever have such The knife he had given away. Both a power. Your duty is to keep them of them were produced in Court, and safely, and not to abuse your power by clearly identified by one or two of worrying them into confession, and exthe relatives of the unfortunate de- torting from their fears matter which ceased as having been her property. you may afterwards come here, as you The prisoner evinced emotion do this day, to swear to against them. when they were handed about, with If a prisoner volunteers a confession, a seriosis scrutiny, between the Judge, statement, you may hear it, and afterthe Jury, the witnesses, and the Bar. wards state it here ; but at your peril His demeanour throughout appeared ever again presume to continue your to me that of a man consciously present cruel and oppressive practice ! guilty, and deserted by hope. One Do you hear me, sir ?" he sternly of the witnesses was the head-con- added, observing the sullen conceited stable
, or keeper of the house of cor- air with which the fellow listened to rectio)— I forget which—at Warring- the merited and dignified rebuke inflictton; and he spoke to a most import- ed upon him. ant examination by himself of the “Oh, yes, iny Lord." The tone prisoner, when first brought into his and air in which this was said did not custods.
The prisoner's counsel escape the Judge. having elicited the fact that the wit “I am by no means sure," added Tiess-1 huge, brawny, overbearing- his Lordship, “ that I shall not even looking fellow—had conceived himself yet feel it' my duty to recommend entitled to examine the prisoner, with your dismissal from your present sita show of authority for doing so, and uation.” closely and sternly—and now came to 6. Then I hope, my. Lord, you will state the results, most important and not allow this evamination to be given even decisive, of the answers to wrung in evidence ?" inquired the prisoneros
counsel. The prisoner's heavy, gloomy
from the prisoner,
eye was lifted for an instant anxiously turn. They were absent for more upon the Judge, on this question being than an hour; and as one of them was asked ; but his Lordship, after repeat- a Quaker, we began to suspect that ing his opinion of the improper man- the well-known repugnance of that ner in which the evidence had been sect to the shedding of blood afforded obtained, observed, with a manifest a chance to the prisoner of their verreluctance to such use of evidence so dict mitigating his crime into man. unfairly obtained—“ Why, yes,-they slaughter. Immediately on the former are, nevertheless, admissions of the one retiring, another Jury was sworn, prisoner, and I do not think myself and another prisoner placed at the warranted in altogether excluding bar. them ; but I shall take care to remark The prolonged absence of the Jury upon them to the Jury."
greatly strengthened our above-menThe prisoner's eye was instantly tioned suspicions. What a dreadful cast down, and his chest heaved with interval must that have been to the & long, deep-drawn sigh. After a prisoner! At length it was announced strong chain of circumstantial evidence that the Jury were returning into court had been laid before the Jury, the pris- to deliver their verdict. « Remove oner's counsel addressed them on his this prisoner, and place Jonn Hill at behalf. What could he say? He had the bar!" said the Judge, as I fancied, no witnesses to call! The only point slightly changing colour. I am sure he attempted to make was, that though that I did, especially when I saw the the prisoner might bave been guilty prisoner led forward by two of the of two of the three grievous crimes oficers and placed in front of the charged upon him, yet he had not dock to hear his doom. He stood exintentionally, or even knowingly, oc. actly in his former attitude, with his casioned the death of Betty Minshull; handkerchief in his hands ; but his pressing upon them, with much energy, face was turned, anu his eye directed the statement of the prisoner which with dreadfulanxiety to the spot where had been given in evidence, that “ he his Jury were collecting ; in whose had left the deceased asleep," and downcast faces, as they one by one also urging, for the honour of our made their way through the breathless common human nature, the incred- crowd, he too plainly read his fate. ibility that the prisoner, or any one His chest heaved several times slowly, living, could have been guilty of one while he endured the agonizing, susof the atrocious acts with which he pense occasioned by the Jury being was charged. The Judge then sum- twice called over, and answering to med up; stating it to be w.perfectly their names. As soon as the twelfth settled and unquestionable law, that had responded—“ Gentlemen, are you all homicide is presumed to be mali- agreed upon your verdict ?" inquired cious, and amounts to murder until the officer of the court ; *
you the contrary appears in evidence- the prisoner at the bar guilty or not which must be made out by the pris. guilty ?” oner to the satisfaction of the Court
Amidst profound silence, the foreand Jury. It was for them to say man pronounced the fatal word whether they thought that the deceased “Guilty."
My eye was fixed at the had come by her death in consequence moment on the features of the misof any felonious act of the prisoner; erable wretch whom that word had and if so, he was clearly guilty of doomed to a speedy and ignominious murder, although he might never have death. It blanched his countenance ; intended it, or thought it possible to his eyes drooped, and he leaned heavily have been the result, or have been against the two officers who had led aware of it. Of this there was not the him in, and then stood close behind slightest doubt.” His Lordship then, him. Immediately on the foreman's with great patience and perspicuity, pronouncing the verdict, the Judge recapitulated and commented upon the placed upon his head the ominous evidence; and, though he had done so black velvet cap, and with much sowith the most rigorous fairness, it was lemmity, amidst the breathless silence clear to every one what the issue must of the Court, thus addressed the prisbe. The Jury withdrew to consider oner: their verdict, and the prisoner was “ John Hill-after full and anxious removed from the dock till their re- consideration, the Jury of your com