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cause of reform. The facts revealed by Major Hogan warranted severe strictures on the conduct of the Duke of York, Commanderin-Chief of the Army, which the Examiner did not hesitate to utter. Action was brought against the editors for their temerity. The prosecution fell to the ground by the timely espousal of the cause of the Examiner by a hitherto unknown friend, who, in his capacity as member of Parliament, procured the summons of certain persons to the bar of the House of Commons, that inquiry might be made into the character and capacity of the commander-in-chief. The Duke of

York was voted innocent of connivance, and yet so many unpleasant disclosures were made in course of the investigation that the prosecution against the Examiner was quietly and gladly abandoned.

Foiled in their first attempt to crush the Examiner, its enemies kept on the look-out for another ground of accusation. At length the character of the king was aspersed by the following mild remark: “Of all the monarchs since the Revolution, the successor of George III. will have the finest opportunity of becoming nobly popular.”

This time the prosecutors blindly overshot the mark by bringing action against the editors of the Morning Chronicle for having quoted the libelous assertion. The acquittal of the Chronicle parried the blow so furiously directed against the Examiner.

The enemies of the ill-fated paper remained on the alert with a vigilance worthy of a better cause, and a third prosecution speedily followed. The Stamford News had so far broken from the wholesome restraints with which monarchists deem it proper that newspapers should be hedged about, as to publish some sensible and humane views on the subject of flogging in the army. The editorial scissors which made extracts for the Examiner were so little guided by wisdom as to clip the unscrupulous article for the benefit of its readers. The editors were summoned before the bar of justice to answer for a high misdemeanor. It is painful evidence that the scales of justice are not always held with a steady hand; that while the Examiner was acquitted, through the eloquent and valiant advocacy of its cause by Mr. Brougham, the editor of the Stamford News, with the same able advocate, was subsequently condemned on a prosecution for publishing the same article.*

• It would seem from the following account, published as news in a late issue of the London Times, that barbarity yet characterizes the treatment of soldiers in the British army. Two men, whose home feelings had overcome them, were thus flogged for temporary desertion before disbandment:

“ The first man, named Green, bore his punishment, as stated by an eye-witness, like a true soldier;' but the second, named Davis, a young recruit, protested his innocence of the crime of desertion, bellowed and screamed for mercy, and sup

At last the climax was reached in a fourth prosecution, and the hopes of implacable enemies realized in the condemnation of the unscrupulous editors. George III. lived to such an old age that his son long figured as Prince of Wales, and occupied a conspicuous position before the eyes of the nation long before he was crowned king. When the old king became insane, his son was made virtual monarch under the title of Prince Regent. During his more private life as Prince of Wales, he had professed certain political opinions which rendered him very popular, and excited the hopes of all progressives. Especially the ardent and ill-treated Irish almost worshiped the Prince of Wales for certain promises, which made them suppose that he would be another Moses to deliver them from bondage. At their annual dinners on St. Patrick's day the name of the Prince of Wales was made the subject of the most rapturous toasts, and heard with most uproarious applause.

When the Prince became Regent he was utterly regardless of his promises, and, to the astonishment and dismay of all sincere and hopeful men, made a total abandonment of the principles he had professed so loudly.

St. Patrick's day of 1812 was celebrated at Free Masons' Tavern by a large and respectable company of Irishmen, presided over by a distinguished nobleman. The name of the Prince of Wales on this occasion, instead of being heard with applause, was hooted and hissed. Those who had been most eloquent in praise were now loudest in rebuke. Never has name and character had a greater tide of unpopularity to meet.

The Examiner, as a sympathizing paper, and a faithful chronicler of passing events, reported the proceedings of this meeting, with such editorial remarks as were calculated to make manifest the popular odium against the Prince Regent. Besides, in the same connection, were noticed some wretched lines which had been published in a prominent paper for the purpose of flattering the reigning prince, in which he was styled “ Adonis in loveliness.” The brief and luminous com


plicated Col. Talbott, and the medical officers, and others who were present, to have compassion on him or he would die. His back was covered with a mass of large, red, inflated boils, which bled profusely at every stroke, and reddened the ground under his feet, upon which the cat was ordered to be withheld for a few moments, when, finding that his punishment was not at an end, he gave vent to exclamations for mercy, and partly succeeded in delivering himself by force from the straps which bound him to the halberds. The punishment was again or dered to be continued, when, at every succeeding stroke, his cries and exclamations were most lamentable, insomuch that officers and men swooned away at the sickening spectacle, and had to be carried into the open air. One officer and upward of twenty non-commissioned officers and men, long in the service, fainted, and others stopped their ears and closed their eyes lest they too should become unnerved, and be subject to the reproach and ridicule of their comrades."



ment on this passage was: “This Adonis is a corpulent man of fifty." This was the unkindest cut of all, and gave the sword of justice the unerring precision and execution with which it shortly fell.

Leigh Hunt, the editor, and his brother, principal proprietor of the Examiner, were prosecuted for publishing the article. They were found guilty, and condemned to imprisonment and payment of a fine of one thousand pounds. One of the criminals briefly describes the way he was affected by the sentence:

“At the sound of two years' imprisonment, in separate jails, my brother and myself instinctively pressed each other's arms. It was a heavy blow, but the pressure that acknowledged it encouraged the resolution to bear it, and I do not believe that either of us interchanged a word afterward on the subject.”

Two years' imprisonment must have been an unpleasant prospect to a man subject to attacks of nervousness which exercise alone could mitigate. However, he made the best of his situation, and bore its evils like a martyr. Permission was granted the prisoner to have his wife and children with him, whereby he made a great step toward transforming his prison into a home. He thus describes the tasteful arts by which prisons may be made attractive:

“ I papered the walls with a trellis of roses; I had the ceiling colored with clouds and sky; the barred windows I screened with venetian blinds; and when my book-cases were set up with their busts, and flowers and a pianoforte made their appearance, perhaps there was not a handsomer room on that side of the water. I took pleasure when a stranger knocked at the door, to see him come in and stare about him. The surprise on issuing from the Borough and passing through the avenues of a jail was dramatic. Charles Lamb declared that there was no other such room except in a fairy tale."

Going to jail and indulging a taste for horticulture would seem quite incongruous, yet Hunt caused even these extremes to meet.

" I possessed another surprise, which was a garden. There was a little yard outside the room, railed off from another, belonging to the neighboring ward. This yard I shut in with green palings, adorned it with a trellis, bordered it with a thick bed of earth from a nursery, and even contrived to have a grassplot. The earth I filled with flowers and young trees. There was an appletree from which we managed to get a pudding the second year. As to my flowers, they were allowed to be perfect. Thomas Moore, who came to see me with Lord Byron, told me he had seen no such heart's-ease. Here I wrote and read in line weather, sometimes under an awning. In autumn my trellises were covered with scarlet runners, which added to the flowery investment. I used to shut my eyes in my arm chair, and affect to think myself hundreds of miles off.”

Leigh Hunt was beguiled of the solitude of his prison by the frequent visits of friends old and new. Among these were Lord Byron, Talfourd, Lamb, Hazlitt, Moore, and Shelley, his “friend of


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friends.” Perhaps the prisoner in his jail was as happy as the prince in his palace.

On the 3d of February, 1815, Hunt ended the years of his imprisonment, and rode up the Strand in the enjoyment of his former freedom. There is a certificate that happiness is not dependent upon place, as well as a dash of humor in the concluding passage of the first volume of the autobiography:

“I enjoyed, after all, such happy moments with my friends, even in prison, that in the midst of the beautiful climate which I afterward visited, I was sometimes in doubt whether I would not rather have been in jail than in Italy."

The fortunes of the Examiner declined, by reason of the popularity of tory sentiments. Leigh Hunt's health was so much impaired that many thought he could not live, hence he listened with favor to a proposition from Byron and Shelley, that he should join them in Italy and assist in the establishment of a Quarterly, for the advocacy of liberal principles. He embarked for Italy, with his family of seven children and his books, on the 16th of November, 1821. The season was inauspicious, and the winter of 1821 became especially memorable in the shipping annals. “It strewed the whole northwest coast with wrecks.”

After beating about the Channel for more than a month, making vain endeavors to get into the Atlantic, the vessel put into Dartmouth harbor, and our voyagers took refuge in Plymouth, where they passed the winter.

On the 13th of May, 1822, they set sail in a fresh vessel on their new summer voyage.” Without accident or delay Hunt arrived at Genoa, and thence, in a few days, went to Leghorn, where he was met in the harbor by Mr. Trelawney. Byron was at Leghorn, and Shelley soon came down from his country residence to welcome his friend. He expressed a hope, soon too literally blighted, that winds and waves might never part them more.

Shelley accompanied his friend to Pisa, and saw him well established. Having spent a short time with him, he embarked in a boat for Lerici, his country residence. A terrific storm came up, in which his boat was wrecked and the poet was drowned. A week after the disaster a body was washed ashore which was identified as that of Shelley. A volume of Keats's poetry was found on his person, which had been lent him by Hunt, who had told Shelley to keep it till he returned it with his own hands. · He would have it from no other, and it was burned with the body on the funeral pile.

Shelley's death hastened if it did not originate the failure of Hunt's enterprise in Italy. Lord Byron and Leigh Hunt were not congenial spirits. Their quarterly, entitled the Liberal, saw a few numbers and then expired, leaving its proprietors more estranged than ever.

After a few years' absence Hunt gladly set foot once more on his native shores, rejoiced that his wanderings were over. Though he always retained pleasant recollections of the climate and landscape of Italy, he never ceased to love English scenery before all other. His life, after his return to England, was marked by no events of general interest beyond the publication of the many volumes, original and compiled, which came forth under the sanction of his name.

In 1844 and 1846 appeared the best of his critical publications, entitled Wit and Humor, and Imagination and Fancy. These books are made up of extracts from English authors of all time, interspersed with appropriate critical remarks. These volumes have accomplished the excellent end of bringing some of our old and neglected authors within the range of popular appreciation.

In 1850 Hunt yielded to the solicitations of his publisher and friends so far as to favor the world with the story of his life. In this he simply did what every one who reaches old age in any useful line of life might profitably do. Such a man generally has troops of friends who would compose a reading public for him, though the world abroad should seldom see and never greatly appreciate his book. Every successful man has had experiences and reflections which should not be permitted to die with him. If carefully written by his own hand, they would form valuable contributions to the world's aggregate experience. When any periods of a man's life have been characterized by indiscretion and error, the autobiographer has a good opportunity to acknowledge his mistakes and express his sincere regrets. This he will not unwillingly do, for it is everybody's experience that we would rather say hard things of ourselves than have others say them. Those paragraphs which would be filled with harsh criticism by the unsympathizing biographer, and by labored apologies by the too partial writer, would be occupied by candid narration and manly avowals of repentance by the wise autobiographer. Such an autobiographer was Leigh Hunt. He hesitates not to let his readers know what is passing in his secret heart. The chief delight which he enjoyed in writing his own life seemed to result from the opportunity afforded of setting forth motives once misconstrued, and expressing manly regret for early indiscretions.

As a poet, Hunt has been so long conspicuous before the world that his merits and his faults are well known. His poetical talents were not of the first order, and yet they have procured for him ex

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