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society, will have observed with regret that decisions like the present are little calculated to add to that veneration for the law, the existence of which has been for a long time one of the surest safeguards of social order. It requires little expertness in the subtleties of the legal profession, to judge clearly in a case like the present. It is a plain straight-forward question, and will admit of as little subterfuge as any that ever came before a court. Why it is that persons of all parties see it in the same light, and that lawyers alone labour to obscure what is in itself so simple, cannot easily be explained. There is no labyrinth to unravel, no ancient statutes to unroll, no authority but plain sense to consult, and the cause of the preference given to the new practice is altogether a riddle. No one can wish to see the taste of the age corrupted. Let immoral publications be discouraged, let them be put down, if need be, by proper methods; but let their circulation be no longer extended, on the ground of their pernicious effects on public morals, by a British court of justice, nor let the opinion of any single individual, whatever may be his station, consign to plunder those literary works that do not square with his varying notions and capricious views. We see too much adherence to the forms rather than the substance of justice among present lawyers. They are too apt, in their profession, to run into extravagances rather than appear destitute of craft. As the world gets more enlightened, however, we shall find that it will prefer a plain and clear law-practice; and that the circumvolutions, fictions, tautology, anomalies, and inconsistencies of our law administration, must give way to a more simple and lucid developement of the principles of justice, and to the straightening and clearing the intricate by-ways that lead to it.
THE DAUGHTER OF MEATH.
TURGESIUS, the chief of a turbulent band,
As the pearls from Loch Neagh, which encircled her hair ;
The Tyrant beheld her, and varied, "She shall come
Say, which is Melachlin's fair daughter?-away
Autumnal Leaves. Who has not heard of the Duke of Buckingham, who was driven from London to Mulgrave Castle, Yorkshire, by the great plague ? On the abatement of that scourge, in the autumn of the same year, the Duke made preparations for returning to his favourite Mall in Saint James's Park. His rural tenants waited upon him in a body, to bewail his departure, and respectfully asked when they might hope to see him again. “Not till the next plague,” answered his Grace. The same Duke, by the way, thus execrated a dog that had offended him— “Get along with you for a rascally cur! Ah, I wish you were married and settled in the country.”—The late Duke of Queensberry must be well remembered by most middle-aged inhabitants of the metropolis. Often has my disembodied shade Aitted under Lord William Gordon's wall, opposite the veteran's Piccadilly residence, to gaze upon him, with his straw hat, green parasol, and nankeen trowsers bleached by repeated ablutions. “Does not your Grace find London very empty ?” bawled a morning visitor in his soundest ear, on the fifteenth day of a hot September.“ Yes," answered the Duke; “but it is fuller than the country."- These are the only two men of whom I ever heard who pleaded a justification on being seen, like autumnal leaves, scattered about the streets of London during the fall of the year. Many others have pleaded a general justification. Doctor Johnson said, he who tired of London is tired of existence. ci ·les Morr eulogizes “the sweet shady side of Pall Mall," in strains which, like his favourite beverage, become the mellower for age; and Doctor Moseley used to say, “I am half distracted whenever I go into the country; there is such a noise of nothing." All these were celebrated men, who could brazen it out. The common herd of mortals invent excuses : they shuffle like a May-day sweep, and lie like the prospectus of a new Magazine. They never saw the humours of Bartholomew Fair before: they could not, till last Sunday, get a ticket to hear the Reverend Edward Irving : they have a particular wish to see“ the Great Unknown" in the Haymarket; or the pavement of St. James's Square is about to be Mac-adamized, and they are bent upon patronizing the process.
Lord Robert Ranter is still sneaking about St. James's Street. I call it sneaking, because if his optics start any being near the Palace, he backs up Bury Street; or, if hard pushed, he is intently eager upon decyphering the allusions in the caricature-shop. Dean Swift tells us that two of the brothers in the Tale of a Tub made great circuits to avoid meeting, whereby it usually happened that they encountered each other. So it fell out last Wednesday with Lord Robert and Captain Augustus Thackeray. The former saw the dapper farce-writer, mentioned in my last, skipping down St. James's Street, and the latter beheld young Culpepper swaggering up it. Both were, of course, ashamed of being autumnal leaves, and both, at the same moment, bolted into the pastrycook's-shop on the right side as you walk from Pall Mall to Piccadilly. Each was of course surprised at meeting the
other in London in September. But the mischief did not end here. The farce-writer was suddenly arrested in his brisk bobbing career by an odour of mock-turtle soup ; and young Culpepper felt a penchant for a glass of cherry bounce. The consequence was, that all four met upon the floor of the confectioner. Now came the moment for two pair of imaginations to come into play. Lord Robert was quite on the wing; he merely stayed to see Madame Vestris commence her re-engagement: Captain Thackeray was never more surprised in his life' than in finding himself in town; but the fact was, that his gun burst last week at Sir Frank Featherspring's, and he had merely come to purchase a new one. Young Culpepper had been summoned from Margate to oppose the discharge of an insolvent debtor; and the dapper farce-writer had sprained his ankle in stepping out of a box at the Brighton Theatre, and was come to town for advice. --Four greater falsehoods were never uttered under the roof of Westminster Hall !
The usual question of-"Who would have thought of meeting you in town at this time of the year ?"— having been reciprocally propounded, all four of our autumnal leaves grew wondrous loving. "Misery," says the proverb, "makes a man acquainted with strange bedfellows." September may be said to generate associations equally extraordinary. Young Culpepper proposed a dinner at his father's house in Savage Gardens on the following day. The invitation was joyfully acccded to. As the party separated, young Culpepper and the farce-writer issued together up Jermyn Street.
“ I declare I am quite pleased with Lord Robert's manner," said the former ; “I never knew him so gracious : what can it be owing to ?”
" The season," answered the dramatist: “People of fashion grow quite warm and hearty when nobody of any note sees them. If the sun were but half as hot, it would be a capital thing for the harvest.” “Well! that accounts for it,” ejaculated the young citizen: “old Mrs. Poppleton stopped her carriage yesterday in Russell Square, on purpose to ask me to dine with her. She reproached me quite tenderly for never coming near her; and lo and behold! I found that the foundation of the feast was her want of a fourth to make up a rubber. She was beating the highways and hedges, and luckily happened to alight upon me."
Old Culpepper received the party with great civility. He, too, was an autumnal leaf, and he too had his lie ready for being one. They could not get a house at Ramsgate: Broadstairs was too retired : and as for Margate, Mrs. Culpepper would not hear of it: so they meant, next Saturday, to try Brighton : he was aware that there was a terrible mixture there: especially from Saturday to Monday: but the air might do Mrs. Culpepper's stomach good, and he himself had never seen a chain pier.
After dinner, at which “ the hot and hurried Jane" administered, without being the authoress of any material catastrophe, Lord Robert Ranter expressed to Captain Thackeray his surprise at not having seen his name in the Covent-garden play-bills, after the performance of Hamlet “ Why, the fact is,” said 'the Captain, “ upon reflection, I did not think it quite a gentlemanly thing to supersede Kean or Macready: they enjoy a certain portion of popular favour, and, hang it, it would not be quite fair to clamber over their heads. No! I have lately been turning my mind toward writing plays, rather than acting
them. Before dinner, I was looking over the Life of Hayley, in Mr. Culpepper's window-seat, yonder. I see that the poet, at his outset in life, speculated upon writing two plays per annum, which, at five hundred pounds each (his estimated rate of profit), would give him a thousand a-year: a very gentlemanly addition to any man's income. I rather believe, that in point of fact, Hayley never got a thousand pence from the theatre, which I am rather surprised at, for he was unquestionably a gentleman :-indeed, he behaved to both his wives in the highest style of fashion.”—" At my dramatic outset," said the dapper farce-writer, my expectations were not less sanguine than those of the poet of Eartham. My first production was a comedy, and my last one a farce.” “ I should like to know the history of both of them," said old Culpepper, pushing the bottle to him at the same time. "I had once some taste for the drama myself. I shall never forget poor John Palmer at the Royalty. Ah! he was the man for Don Juan. I am told, Lord Byron has failed lately in the part: and well he may. Nobody will ever come up to John Palmer—there was a leg for you?"
“ My first comedy," said the dramatist, “ was called • Love in Jeopardy: it was accepted by the proprietors of Covent-garden Theatre." “ I am sorry for it," said the founder of the feast; “ John Palmer was the man for comedy, and he was at Drury-lane. There was brown pow
poor fellow ! and such a pair of blue silk stockings.”..“ Nothing could equal my joy at seeing it advertised in the red bills of the day, continued the writer of farces. “ Except your fear at the drawing up of the curtain,” said Thackeray: Egad! that is an awful moment: I felt it myself the other day in Hamlet. I slew whole squadrons at Waterloo, without a tenth of the trepidation I then felt."
"My piece was successful,” continued the play-wright; "and at that time authors received their remuneration by taking the profits of the third, sixth, and ninth nights. The celebrated Cumberland shook my hand, and dubbed me the modern Congreve. On the third night, an envious shower of rain fell at six o'clock, insomuch, that the expences did not enter the house." “ The rain might have thinned the pit and galleries,” observed the honest slopseller, “but that could not have kept the company away from the dress-boxes.” “I beg your pardon, sir,” retorted the follower of the Muses ; " people of fashion in those days did not like to expose their horses : coachmen then did not want Mr. Martin of Galway to teach them humanity. Well! the sixth night arrived, and a finer night I never witnessed. I looked out upon the chapel-leads from the window of my lodgings in Martlet-court, and they were as dry as a bone. Off I went to the Theatre at a quarter before six, and stationed myself in what was then called the slips. The house was very respectably filled, and I calculated upon at least a hundred pounds beyond the expenses. At the close of the first music, however, to my great annoyance, Lewis, the manager, made his appearance, and informed the house, that Mr. Middleton having been taken suddenly ill, Mr. Toms had kindly undertaken to read the part of Courtly, and hoped for their usual kind indulgence. You might have knocked me down with a feather! Happily, however, the audience did not seem to think there was much to choose between Mr. Middleton and Mr. Toms; they accordingly slightly clapped with their hands, as much as to say -- Well, well! go on.'. The music, accordingly,