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It is not necessary at present to be more explicit respecting that class of misdemeanors; but I shall state to you three of a different kind with more particularity.
If a man lays a train of gunpowder to your stacks of corn, your barus, or your
dwelling-houses, with touchwood on.
fire, which will not cause an explosion for several hours or several days, and if he is discovered practising this wickedmess in a variety of instances, we are now told that the law of England will not permit us to touch his person before the fire actually takes effect, because till then there is no felony or breach of the peace. And I shall suppose again, that a wretch is carrying through the country poisons, which he advises parents to give to their children, or which he himself actually throws into wells or tea-kettles, still till the poison is administered to, or taken by some human being, he is not guilty of felony under Lord Ellenborough's Act, and he is only guilty of a misdemeanor, which could not be considered an actual breach of the peace: and if another wretch still perhaps more criminal, should carry round and disperse every where publicatious full of sedition, blasphemy, and indecency, with intent to poison and corrupt the minds of our innocent and virtuous children and domestics, still we are told that a Justice of the Peace has no jurisdiction over him, before an indictment is found by a Grand Jury, and thus these horrid monsters may triumphaully march from one end of the kingdom to the other, casting firebrands, arrows, and death, and nothing can arrest their career, but a thunderbolt froun the avenging arm of the Almighty. • Surely the wisdom of our ancestors could never leave such a blank in the Constitution which they have transmitted for our security and happiness. Thank God, there is no such defect at present, and has not beca for many centuries in our system of laws. ... All that is to be found in the books which have been written within the last 2 or 800 years, by Lord Coke, Lambard, Crompton, Pulton, Dalton, Lord Hale, Hawkins, Burn, and Blackstone, is the following sentence;— . “Justices of Peace may also issue their warrants within the precincts of their Commission for apprehending persons charged of crimes within the cognisance of the Sessions of the Peace,
and bind them over to appear at the Sessions, and this though the offender be not yet indicted.—l HALE, 519. But it is urged by some, who will not admit this to be a decisive authority, that Lord Hale meant here by crimes: suth crimes as were of the rank of felony, because this sentence is found in a chapter which professes to treat only of felonies.—Lord Chief Justice Hale was not used to express himself so inaccurately, if that was his meaning. It may be observed, that it is impossible to give a certain opinion upon a doubtful question of law, without possessing a clear knowledge of its history and progress. A i. gentle deviation, consistent with the principles and rules of law, gradually produces an effect or a practice, which superficial observers cannot reconcile with ancient authorities, and therefore rashly conclude that what has heen sanctioned by a practice for ages, never had a legal origin. This is precisely that case. The good and ancient practice by Magistrates of binding offenders to their good behaviour, aud to appear at the next Sessions or Assizes, and there to receive and perform the further orders of the Court, has long been disused; and when the latter half is separated from the former, it is not known again, and escapes abservation, though all the authors I have enumerated are full of it. Lord Chief Justice Hale said– “The statute 34 Ed. III. c. 1. gave Justices of the Peace power to apprehend malofactors, and to commit them to custody, or to bind them to their good behaviour, which was not intended perpetual, but in nature of bail; viz. to appear at such a day at their Sessions, and in the mean time to be of good behaviour.”–2 Hale, 136. This was an excellent mode of preventing a repetition of the crime, and also the commission of any other crime of the same rank, or even any breach of the peace; for if he was guilty of any such crime before he appeared at the Scssions or Assizes, the recognizance was forfeited, and he and his bail would then have been compelled to pay the sum specified in it, and it also secured his attendance at the Assizes or Sessions, when he would be detained till be pleaded to an indictment, if any was found against him; if such an indictment was found, he either was detained -
in custody by order of the Court, or entered into a fresh recognizance to appear at the next Assizes or Sessions to try his traverse, that is, the charge in the indictment to , which he had pleaded not guilty. The binding to the good behaviour has probably been disused from a respect to the personal liberty of the subject, and from pity and compassion to the defendant, who, perhaps, could find friends who would be sureties for the event of his appearance in the Court to answer to an indictment, but who would not risk their money upon the failure of that condition, and also upon any one of the infinite conditions, which were included in his being of ood behaviour to the King and to all is liege subjects. For seditious and blasphemous words uttered, the offender might always have been bound to his good behaviour, and therefore, it would follow for a much stronger reason, that the authors of all seditious and blasphemous libels might be so bound. Än indecent libel is now punishable like all other libels against the government and against religion; but it was once thought that that species of crime was punishable only in the Ecclesiastical Courts, till Sir Philip Yorke, afterwards the illustrious Lord Hardwicke, when he was Attorney-General, prosecuted a man for an indecent publication, and the Court of King's Bench unanimously held it was a libel and a temporal crime, and the prisoner was set in the pillory, and Sir John Strange, the Reporter, adds, as he well deserved. 2 Stra. 788. In that case it is well explained by the learned Attorney-General, that the Christian Religion and sound morality are the two main pillars of the British Government, and he who writes in derogation of either, is an immediate libeller of the government of his country. But Hawkins, who wrote before that case was decided, though he says that the author of a book full of ribaldry cannot be prosecuted for a libel, yet adds, the author may be bound to his good behaviour as a scandalous person of evil fame.—l Leach, Hawk. 355. I have not had the misfortune to see any of those blasphemous publications, which the itinerant scandalous persons of evil fame are employed to disperse throughout the kingdom; but I am informed that they are of so diabolical a
nature, that they must cause the blood of every one not familiarized to them to run cold with horror. If any of them should be brought within the jurisdiction of this Isle, I most earnestly exhort the Magistrates to apprehend the offender by their warraut, and to proceed according to the mode prescribed by Lord Hale, Hawkins, and all the authors upon the subject; viz. to bind them over with sufficient sureties to appear at the next Assizes to be held for this lsle, and in the mean time to be of good behaviour to the King and to all his liege people. There are forms in abundance. Every lawyer, I think, must admit, this is a mode of proceeding both legal and constitutional. You, Gentlemen Magistrates, at your Quarter Sessions, have precisely the same jurisdiction over libel, as the four Judges of the Court of King's Bench; so also I alone presiding in this Court have the same power; but as such prosecutions in the country are rare, if you should have occasiou to commit or bind over any one in the manner described, I should recommend you to commit him, or bind him in the recog
nizanct to appear at the Assizes rather
than the Sessions. I do not recommend this from any apprehension that you would not do full Justice in the case as substantially and effectually as myself; but it may be presumed, that, from the habits of my life, I am better acquainted with the forms of proceeding; and it might be objected, though the same objection may be made to every commitment to the Sessions, that the party is in some degree prejudged by the committing Magistrate or Magistrates. The law in this case affords abundant protection to the liberty of the subject; for, besides the commitment of , the Magistrate, which ought to be founded upon an honest investigation and correct knowledge of law, three further decisions, perfectly independant of each other, imust concur before the party accused can suffer the slightest punishment; the Grand Jury must find a true bill perfectly uninfluenced by the commitment of the Magistrate; the Petty Jury must fully try him without the least bias from any previous investigation, and if they, as they are now authorized by a late Statute, should give a general verdict of guilly, the Judge is bound diligently to examine the publication stated in the Record, and if he in his judgment thinks that it does not in law amount to a libel, he is bound to arrest the judgment, and to discharge the defendant from all punishment and further prosecution. This is not new-made law; it has existed for ages, and its origin is lost in the clouds of antiquity. It is thus that the liberty of Englishmen has been secured: liberty is a word much used, but little understood; it is that delicate point equally remote from tyranny and licentiousness; if it be moved either way, tyranny or licentiousness, equally productive of human misery, must predominate. It is that point, from which the eatest happiness results to the subject, from the just administration of good laws, and the greatest security of the long continuance of that happiness. ne of the most profound patriots of antiquity, whose mind has been thought to have been illumined by a ray of divine inspiration, seems to have been 'peculiarly inspired by the genius of the British Constitution, in an eloquent and just description of law and liberty, which he concludes by saying— “Legum Ministri, Magistratus; legum interpretes, judices ; legum denique id. eiro omnes servi sumus, et liberi esse possimus.” Cic. Pro Cluent no. “ The ministers of the laws are the Magistrates; the interpreters of the laws are the Judges; in short, we are all slaves to the laws for this purpose, that we may enjoy the blessings of liberty.”
We use the potato, and abuse it, and despise those who eat it. Do we yet know what it is, in produce, economy, sustenance, and healthful nutrition? What must be that produce per acre of this root, which can enable the highrented, well manured, and dearly worked lands of Essex, to send it already, with a heavy cartage, and all expenses, to the market of Spitalfields, to sell at 3s. and 4s. per cwt., or 5 or 6lbs. of good food for 2d. Who need to starve F Another serious consideration arises,— who need to work, when the chief sustenance of a family can be procured so cheaply
In 1815, in Hampshire, this was felt: 14lbs. of potatoes for 4d. made the labourer too careless. Have you got the potatoes? was the only question of
the morning, for the provision of the wife and four or five children of the cottage, or of the wood Will not an acre of potatoes produce the farinaceous food of a family of a man, his wife, and three children, for nearly three years, supposing the produce to be 18 tons only, and their consumption to be 28lbs. per day 2 Three men in Ireland have been seen to cull, eat, and waste, nearly a bushel of potatoes at one meal, suppose the bushel only 56lbs. We may yet have reason to be glad of the provident increase of plant, and of the large growth of potatoes of this Season. Has the potato, since its general use in Ireland, been found more economical of land and labour, more productive of food, on a given breadth of average lands, and more favourable to the growth, and strength, and health of the poor snd labouring classes, than the ill-made, sour, yeasty puddings, which we call bread, made of rye, oats, barley, and even of wheat, which have for the same time been used in England, Scotland, and Wales? What have been the advantages to the populous and manufacturing county of Lancashire, of their more especial growth and diet of potatoes? Can any one prefer coarse bread or fine to a meally “smiling” potato The preparations of bread by the public baker is an instance of the advantage felt, and of the general tendency to the division of labour. Few yet know among us how to cook the potato, by which much of its economy, and the pleasure of this diet, is lost. A method of preparation, in quantity, to be used cold, in the maner of bread, is yet a desideratum for the morning meal. It should not long remain so; the thing is surely easy. The comparison of the weight and quantity of the potato, as alimentary satisfaction, nutriment, and the sustenance of the strong labour of robust activity, with the usual consumption of wheaten bread, is not yet accurately observed : for the in-door females, and for children, they seem to be, in every mauer of preparation, boiled, roasted, baked, or in mixed broths, the preferable diet to our common bread, in almost all parts of the country. The politic economy of their general j" and use, in substitution of the read of grain, descrwcs some inquiry,
te favour or repress the general habit of this diet. More than twenty men, women, and children, can perhaps be supported for one year from one acre of potatoes, with some support also for pigs or other cattle? How many more or less than twenty should, with some attention, be ascertained from average land, with light manure, and an average crop of rotation or continued cropping. The waste in towns, through paring before cooking, and ignorance how to boil the potato, is prodigious ; and this with the easy ranks, still more than with the poorest. The Irish cabiners throw aside for the pigs, very properly, all the potatoes set before them, not in the meally condition. A dish of good potatoes, unskinned, properly cleaned, well boiled, and served up dry and meally, breaking, and cowered with a damask napkin, is perhaps still the most elegant and pure, as the most simple and wholesome of all the vegetable or farinaceous viands that can be placed upon the table even of a Gourmand; the French will soon learn to make many ingenious preparations of this root, (which we shall learn from their “ Almanac,”) whose best quality is, that it is in need of none : it may be truly said of it, none but its simple self can be its parallel or its equal. Why is its chemistry and natural history, its several sorts, the particulars of its growth and produce, the observation of its culinary preparation, and power of healthful sustenance, &c. &c. &c. not the subject of some studied and rational analysis and report, such as has been bestowed on the tulip or the anemone * What but the large produce per acre of this good root, can repay the growers of Essex, for all their labour and expense, to deliver at this time 1321b. of this fine food, on the pavement of Spital-fields, for 3s. and 4s. or nearly 3 to 4 lbs. for one penny ? Who then, but for very clumsiness of our contrivances, can be at ill-case for the mere food, or sustenance, when a beggar-woman declared lately, it was a bad day she did not pick up 8s. 1 and two pennyworth of potatoes would make her fat - It seems clear that it is not food alone that is with us the only want of man—'tis gin and brandy which impoverish 1 26th August, 1817. . **
THE LITERARY GARDEN. No. XXVII.
“How” happy they! the happiest of their kind
Whom “peaceful” stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
What is the world to them.
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all !
Tho' fools spurn Hymen's gentle pow'rs,
ARRIAGE makes up the colour
of our future life—gilds our existence with the sunshine of felicity. or overshadows it with the clouds of misery :-if the subsequent remarks lead, therefore, to the selection of a proper object; if, like a beacon, they serve to warn one unhappy mariner from the destructive brink, and direct in thc safe course; they will not be of small moment.
In expectation of a happy union, five
points I should conceive and propose necessary for previous and mature reflexion.
Virtuous principles I have not men
tioned, presupposing that in no state,
and especially in a connubial one, hap
piness can exist where they are wanting.
With respect to Age, it will be ...; cient to observe, that the parties should possess a parity, or at least a no great disparity of years, as a similitude of age is attended for the Inost part with a certain similarity of habits. Where in this point, the persons are widely disproportioned, the grand design of matrimony will be defeated, and instead of promoting happiness we shall effect misery–Decrepitude or sickness will sooncr or later overtake the advanced party, whilst the other in the vigour and bloom of youth will be doomed miserably to consume its days in bearing with the pcevishness of senility, and anxiously watching to the grave the gradually increasing infirmities of its beloved object. But disparity of
years on condition it be not wide, and the superiority exist on the male side, is a consideration of certainly little import, or rather, perhaps, desirable than otherwise, Next, in regard to Person—ranked in the second place not from a persuasion of its being one of the best, but one of the primary causes of attraction ; though when it is considered in its more extended sense, as I wish it to be considered as including not only features and figure but dress and manners, it will then appear a point by no means so unworthy of respect as might at first be imagined. With relation to the perfections or agreeableuess of form and person, the tastes and opinions of the world are so various, that it is impossible for us to frame concerning them any fixed rules —nor indeed, if it were possible, would it be an employment at all serviceable— No one but an ideot would select for the companion of his life an object that had no better recommendation than a pretty face or a fine shape. Beauty, it cannot be denied, first draws our attention, but it is not of itself capable of retaining it. We gaze on beauty as upon a finished painting or an elegant flower —it is of the class of luxuries—luxuries will satiate, and we shall eventually seek something of more substance. Beauty then, though it be the primary attraction, to a reflecting person is a consideration but secondary. Let it not be understood by this that I underrate her excellence ; I would only advance, with the philosophic Bacon, that use must be preferred to ornament where both cannot be united. But how exalted above its fellows, I had almost said how nearly allied to a supernatural object, that being in whom we find blended perfect beauty with transcendant merit Beauty too, it should be remembered, must fade; and how wretched they who, enterin into a connubial state, have place their hopes of happiness on this only. With dress and manners it somewhat holds different—all are agreed that these, to a certain extent, are requisite to conjugal comfort in all degrees of life, and at all periods. Appearances are, in truth, the only criterion by which we can, without a more intimate acquaintance, form judgment of the mind. How much do dress and address prepossess us in favour of a stranger How often are the superior qualities
to the person what the polish is to the diamond, without which, whatever its intrinsic value, it would never be worn.” —“ Th' apparel,” says Shakspeare, “ oft proclaims the man”—and how just is the observation ; how frequently is the mind marked in the choice of a colour, and the selection of a pattern how much also traced in manners' To conclude, however, this subject—If a woman, in the eyes of her admirer, seems to possess an agreeable person, it is an additional, charming recommendation—But dress and manners in a female are almost indispensable. The slattern is an inexcusable, a disgusting sight. Let the woman in her attire be rich and elegant, according to her station and her means—in her manners let her be neither over-familiar nor ...too much reserved—forwardness in a woman detects at least a vulgar mind, if not a base heart—it is sure, when practised towards men, to excite disgust, and perchance produce hate. Of the two cases, it were better for a woman to be too reserved-but that graceful dignity of mien which cannot be described, but may be conceived by a fine understanding—this is the syren medium—this, .# women but believe it —this is the grand charm—whala multitude of faults will it not cover ? even an ordinary person accompanied with such a recommendation cannot fail to command respect—Beauty without it has little sway—with it, she is almost paramount.—We will now speak of the men. It has been observed, that even in a woman person is of secondary import ; but in a man it is absolutely an object of little or no moment. It is well if his features are not forbidding. Of his dress too let him not be over-anxious—Foppery bespeaks a frivolous understanding—Nor set him be a sloven—for that betrays a low one—A certain attention to dress is a respect owing to the world—and of both extremes it were better perhaps, most assuredly so for society, that he were a fop than a boor to be accurately clean, to wear clothes of the best materials, fashionably made, and ut on in time plainest manner, is, peraps, the surest outward indicative of a genteel man. In his manners, the gentleman will be dignified without affectation, agreeable without frivolily, easy