Abbildungen der Seite

To the Hon. the Lady Provost of Glasgow. MY LADY,

We, the subscribers, residing in Glasgow and its vicinity, request your Ladyship will call a Public Meeting of the Matrons, Spinsters, and all those Ladies of Glasgow who take an interest in such matters, to be held on an early day, to take into consideration the state of manners in the community, and the propriety of erecting a wall of separation between the genteel and vulgar classes of society, We are, my Lady, Your Ladyship's obedient servants,

MATILDA Muscovado.
Tabitha MacTwist.
Mary MacNOTAR.


« The Graces! the Graces! remember the Graces!"

[ocr errors]

the middle size. Her hair was neither dark nor light, but that effective middle tint that harmonizes so well with a countenance, rather pale than rosy, and, which is so frequently the concomitant, of a modest and gentle disposition. Her brow was a tower of ivory. Her eyes were set with that indescribable effect which is so remarkable in the Greek statues, and which is so full of sentiment and feeling. Her chin and mouth were perfect in proportion and expression-altogether she was, indeed, a charming creature. Her band so white, so small and sylphlike, lay gracefully on the arm of the sofa, nearest where I sat. We were in a retired corner of the room. Its fair owner was steadily gazing on the dancers. Could I resist ? No! I ventured to attempt to kiss it, and I knew it must be done quickly. Down went my head, when, at the very moment, she unconsciously raised her band, having in it a small Chinese fan, it entered my right eye, and, for five minutes, I suffered intense pain. Huge basons of burning copper waxed and waned before me; I thought on my unpaid subscription to the Glasgow Eye Infirmary, and the resources of the blind in the new Institution. The tears at length came flowing down from the wounded optic, and afforded me relief, whilst conscious I had intended wrong, I kept the uvwounded side of my face to my fair friend, and endeavoured to throw into it an expression of pleasure. Heraclitus and Democritus in one physiognomy, the laughing and crying philosopher in my face at the same time!

Surely fortune, now thou wilt leave off thy persecution of me, who, most earnestly, woos thy smiles," I mentally prayed but no, that fan! that fan! was still destined to be the cause of torment.

Having, successfully, concealed my tears, my partner and I proceeded to the very thickest of the ball. I saw my fair one wished to dance, and “corragio," I cried, “I'll request her to be my partner.” Her fan, at this moment, fell. I saw one of the stewards and two of the Club, rushing, with all their might, to have the honour of presenting it to my loved one could I permit this ? No! So I rushed, with greater alacrity, than they, and, for the same object of course. I suddenly stooped down, stretching every muscle to lay hold of it, when

“ Quis talia fando," my tights gave way, “we must not say where," and though I involuntarily placed both hands in a situation to cover my disgrace, a burst of laughter, from the whole company, completed my discomfiture. My fair partner vanished in a moment! The first gentleman who spoke to me, enquired, “if I had increased my landed property lately?" I stood silent. “ Because," said be, “ you are encreasing your rents.” Even old Reef, the confounded old fellow, could not be silent, but, in his man-of-war dialect, expressed his regret that I had sprung my Transom. I hastened to the door, when meeting one of the stewards I apologised for leaving the ball-room so early, but he said, “all apo. logy was unnecessary, as all the company saw my end in retiring."


I was excecdingly chagrined by my last misfortune. I began to doubt, if the ladies were, really, so beautiful, or the gentlemen so polite ; for, when on bad terms with myself, I generally find I am disposed to be on very indifferent terms with other people.

Whilst I was in this amiable mood, my respected friend Mr. Reef, senior, who, although he could not dance, because of his wooden leg, yet was on his legs all the evening, was enjoying the scene with an almost youthful vivacity. Observing me moody and solitary, he sought a companion for me, and soon introduced me to a gentleman, “a particular friend,” as he was pleased to denominate him. I would, much rather, have been left to my own meditations. However, after the usual salaams, we commenced conversation. Pray, Sir,” said I, “who is the awkward creature, so curiously dressed, and so conceited, who leans on the gentleman's arm at the opposite side of the room?" He hesitated.

Um—a—why, Sir, to tell you the truth, that is my sister.”

This was a damper, indeed—so I fixed my eyes on the colours at the end of the apartment, looked vacant, and pretended not to hear him. A few minutes elapsed, during which time we criti. cised the dress of one of the gentlemen present, and our taste seemed entirely to agree.

But the fair sex was still in my head. A lady attempted to look agreeable as she passed my companion“wbo," I exclaimed, “is that ugly and forward woman?” Zounds, Sir !" cried my companion, “ that, Sir, is my wife !" Here my former tactics would not do. I was now obliged to apologize in good earnest. This bad, already, been a dark day in my pilgrimage, but my evil genius had not yet forsaken me.

A smile of recognition from a very sweet face, overturned all my doubts regarding the beauty of the ladies, and, as I flattered myself, its owner bad entered the room after my late exhibi. tion of awkwardness, I went boldly towards her, and, presenting my kidded hand, I received such a hearty shake, that it eleyated me more than I had been during the evening.

She was one of those warm hearted creatures altogether without artifice, that we so very seldom meet, and, as from her manner, I flattered myself she was not entirely indifferent to me, I concluded that fortune, tired of her persecutions, was now smiling on my path. My companion, occasionally, cast longing looks towards the dancers, but I carefully eschewed the interpretation of them, and, indeed, “the Elysian dreams of lovers when they love," presented, so many “ words that burned,” and visions of fancy and of feeling, that, at length, neither of us seemed inclined to separate even during the short intervals of the quadrille. Her's was a face one does not easily forget, and, if I had now the mellow pencil of a La nce, I could, even yet, trace her every feature. In height she was rather under, than above


“ Quoque per inventas vitam excoluere per artes."

Yes, it is somewhat consolatory to reflect, though none of my discoveries have yet elicited a tithe of the approbation which they merit, that their very peculiarities evince them to result from an inventive talent of no ordinary kind. Human intellect must be at a very low ebb, indeed, when it is incapable of duly estimating the efforts of genius. 'Tis true, no one can appreciate my discoveries, as I am taught to do, by the infinite labour which some of them cost before being brought to that state of perfection in which I could look upon them with the utmost satisfaction ; but even our famed Society of Arts not to perceive the practicability of my cloud conductor !! Their discretion, however, in acknowledging that I was an eccentric, was something ; and, se far, I honour them for their caudour. Yes, I glory in the title-Davy was an eccentric, Newton was an eccentric. In short, all deviated from the common herd whose great names, like so many luminaries, add a lustre to the intellectual firmament, and where, thank my stars, there is still room for another.

“ Full many a flower is born to blush, unseen,

And waste its sweetness in the desert air." Ab! there is no flower like that of genius, and none so much neglected. It appears to be a law of nature that fortune should smile upon the rogue and the fool, and allow the son of genius

to famish upon the bare curiosity of an ungrateful public, until Ugh, I have no voice for singing just now; this asthma almost his sublime intelligence, like an ill-used ghost, spurns its clay- stops my breath. The lady's head, too! Oh! if I thought Cribbuilt tenement, and speeds away to a more genial, than its ter- dotha had such a head, I would go mad. When her bonnet fell restrial sphere. Beautiful! Egad I'll publish a “ Chameleon,” off, such a little round skull thinly set with reddish grey hair, preand dedicate it to Cribdotba. As there are some exceptions, how- sented itself. The long auburn ringlets, which hung so graceever, to this pitiable fate of genius, I am determined I shall take fully from her brow but a minute before, appeared now to no more care to be one of them. Even at the expense of talent will I advantage than if they had been decking a peruke-maker's block. aim at the filling of my pockets ; after which, the immortal ho- Well, for me, I furled my umbrella that instant, and vowed never pour due to vast and momentous discoveries will follow, of course. again to tempt the winds and fate with a thing so dangerous ; for I am free to declare that the world, when it beholds me enjoying it was this which set my imagination a-soaring, and led to the the rewards of my labour, will acknowledge me to be the first ge- important discovery of my patent umbrella. The cover will turn nius who ever was a wise man. How it laughs at the starvling round the staff delightfully, from the nice construction of the top ; poets and scranky philosophers, whose very souls seem to peep and all risk will be avoided of uncovering a fair lady's caput in the out through their bodies.

ungraceful manner I witnessed, or even of tearing her veil, or How the Royal Society will stare at my solution of that prob- poking out her beau's eye. O, reason! thou art the noble pillar lem which will give the long established system of elemental phi. of true majesty in man! 0, Cribdotha! nothing is wanting to losophy an irrecoverable shock! 'Twill be some consolation for make us happy! No wonder my umbrella-maker was struck the chagrin I lately felt, when my proposal of dividing, equally, dumb with admiration, and unable sufficiently to express his apamong all classes, the wbole property of the nation, met with no proval of my plan, when I discovered to him its utility. I think better reception than a grin. Little are people aware of the I was not long in putting in practice his bint of obtaining a pablessings that would result from such an equality. Every cla- tent for it. His suggestion, too, of the propriety of giving him morous reformer would then be as happy as a king; and I, my an order to make a few hundreds, was exceedingly kind. It will single self, would have the sole honour of the change. O, I bring riches immediately. O! I am already on the wing of fame! must lay my proposal before the public now that they are ripe for It will now be Mr. Philosophus Thumpet's patent umbrella, insuch a thing. Indeed, I am ever making some valuable discovery, stead of Sir Humphry Davy's safety lamp. Now I have succeedthough the utility of those heretofore, alas! for the world, it has ed in an invention which the world shall behold, and, beholding, not had perspicuity enough to discern. So all my delightful theo- will admire. What have I to do, but instantly set about taking ries, too refined and too complex for the vulgar conception, like a dwelling in the city, for Cribdotha and myself, with a good perthe hidden treasures of an undiscovered mine, bave never been spective of the Trongate, hoping that we may still be blessed with beheld by their own light. "Tis a dark age this—a most degene- constant rain ; and then the delight of sitting all day long at the rate age! and I am the sufferer. But I shall not sink into obli- window, and seeing the umbrellas whirling round like so many vion. A better day is at hand in wbich my now obscure name .spinning jennies. 0! it will be a grand universal whirlosity of will be enrolled, in golden letters, in the annals of fame. How patent umbrellas !!! depressing to the noble spirit of genius is the neglect of that great dunce-the World, who progresses so rapidly in the “march of

ORIGINAL POETRY. intellect,” that has become as giddy as a boarding-school miss in her first trip by a rail-road. 'Tis to be hoped that it will, ere long, open its eyes to the value of real merit. O, these, in ve

THE FLAKE OF SNOW. rity, will be the golden days; and I hope to enjoy them long be

(After the manner of the Seicentisti Poets of Italy.) fore reaching what is called the wane of life, in spite of the insinuations of some of my young friends, that I am a bachelor al

A Auttering flake of pearly snow, ready. O horrible, preposterous, degenerate notion ! Because,

Proud that of all things here below forsooth, I am not foppish, nor frolicsome, but carefully avoid

In whiteness it surpassed every thing unbecoming a man of intellect. But, let me tell

Upon Eliza's spotless breast, such base, unprincipled detractors, that I neither wear a wig, nor

In sportive-taunting mirth to rest, am I much turned of fifty! and who will presume to say, any man

Fell down from beaven at last. is a bachelor, properly so called, till he be past the prime of life !!

But on those “ drifted beaps" so fair, 0, I wish I had beat that young puppy to death with my walk

O'ermatch'd in all it held so dear, ing cane, when he hinted so of me in Cribdotha's presence

With humbled pride and anguish-therethough I believe his confessing, he only meant that I was a smart

It quick dissolv'd into a tear! young bachelor like himself, was the only thing which saved his bones from my fury. Yet people should have a special care against shocking one's more tender feelings.

THE FAT AND LEAN PUNSTERS. O, Cribdotha! thou little knowest what is waiting thee! It

Two emulous punsters, one fat t'other lean, is needless to imagine that there is the least probability of this in

Met once in a crowd, and thus vented their spleen. vention failing of success. How enraptured Cribdotha will be,

The lean wit began—"Sir, wherever you go, when she knows it was discovered on her account ! and how

There always goes with you a great fool, you know." much in its favour is the atmosphere of this city-seldom a clear,

“ Nay, that,” quoth the fat wit, "may very well be, dry, cal m, bright, sunny day, from January to December ; but,

For what are you like but a shadow to me ?" rain, rain, rain, morning, noon, and night. O, I like to see no

Stay,” lean wit replied, “ I'm a fool, it is true; thing better, excepting my dear Cribdotha ; for, without the rain,

But were I yourself-I'd be equal to two." what would become of my invention, and then my bright prospects would once more be clouded. What mighty consequences result from apparently insignificant causes ! An apple falling led

MISCELLANEA. to the discovery of the law which guides the planets in their It is certain, that the gloomiest prospect presents nothing so course; and had it not been for the blattering and blustering of chilling as the aspect of human faces in which we try, in vain, to the rain and wind t'other day, when I witnessed the lady's bon- trace one corresponding expression ; and the sterility of nature net twitched off her head by the little round gentleman, when at- itself is luxury compared to the sterility of human hearts, which tempting to hold his umbrella high enough to let her pass, ten thou- communicates all the desolation they feel.—Maturin. sand to one I had never made the discovery. And though I do The life of the happy is all hopes—that of the unfortunate, all not flatter myself with having accomplished what was impossible, memory,--Maturin. I have certainly bit upon a most delightful invention. Well might A CLASSICAL HORSE-DEALER.- A horse-dealer in the AthenI mutter to myself, as I shuddered from top to toe, that if I had ian city of Oxford, who is familiarly designated Squeaker Bil, been the little fat gentleman, and Cribdotba the unfortunate lady, lately made an addition to his stud of two tine horses, to which or had I done so yester-morning, when I brushed past, pretending he assigned the classical cognomina of Xerxes and Artaxerres. not to see her, lest she would speak to me when my asthma was A gentleman commoner having demanded of him his “exquisite so bad, I would not, no, I could not have set the value of my reason” for so doing, he replied, Why you see as how when I small toe against my interest in her future smiles. I never more drives tandem, I make Xerxes my leader, and puts the other in would have dared to look either her or her sweet, pretty, little,

the shafts, and so I calls him Arter-Xerxes." darling pet, as she calls her great Tom puss, in the face. Tom is, TALENTS IN A NAPKIN.— A gentleman once introduced his son indeed, my rival; but, what of that! he is the only one; and, as to Rowland Hill, by letter, as a youth of great promise, and as cats can't last for ever, he will soon be as blind as a bat, and likely to do honour to the University of which he was a member ; fusty as an old bachelor ; while I will just be in the prime of life “but he is shy,” added the father, “and idle, and I fear buries -fresh and fair, sound and sixty! Then Cribdotha will turn all his talents in a napkiu." A short time afterwards the parent, her doating upon me! Oh, sweet-sweet—sweet charming crea- anxious for his opinion, enquired what he thought of his son? “I Lure ! Hem, hem!

have shaken the papkin,” said Rowland Hill, "at all corners, and

there is nothing in it.”Diamond Mayazine.
0, soft and light as a gossamer's web
Is my heart, when it bounds to Cribdotha's smile ;

GIARDINI, (whose popularity in England at one period nearly
And a fire-fly's tale is not half so red

equalled that of Paganini now,) bad, notwithstanding the brilliancy As the glow that plays on her cheek the while.

of his execution, but small pretension to musical seience. When For she's fair and bland, as the sweet autumn morn,

somebody told Dr. Boyce that he professed to teach composition When it all the blue sky is adorning; And blushes just like the sun when too soon

in twenty lessons, “ All that he knows,” sarcastically replied the He has risen in a cold winter morning.

Doctor, “ he might teuch in ten.”

GLASGOW GOSSIP. The Literary men in this part of the world were all in agitation last week, by the production of a poetical gem that appeared in a contemporary, under the modest signature of D. B. Such was the interest excited, that a committee of subscribers are said to have waited upon the master-spirit of the New Exchange Room, for the purpose of having it publicly read.

The late dinner in Blyth wood Hill, where the chandelier was destroyed, turned out a breakfast.

FOREIGN LITERARY INTELLIGENCE. Dutch literature bas just sustained a severe loss by the death of the celebrated Poet BilderDYKE. He was buried on the 230 ult. with great pomp, in the principal church of Haarlem. The intellectual powers and varied erudition of this poet, were not more remarkable than the purity of his life and the warmth of his benevolent affections. Throughout bis whole writings there runs a sober, serious, and pious spirit; a spirit which, may be truly said, bas teoded not a little to re-awaken the energies of his distinguished predecessors, Vondel and Cats.

LITERARY INTELLIGENCE. W. G. R. James has nearly ready, “a History of Edward the Black Prince."

“ Sir Ralph Eszer, or Adventures of a Gentleman of the Court of Charles II, will be published immediately.


“N. N's.” communication has been received, and will appear ia the course of a few days.

We have received " The Beachers." It is smart and satirical, but we cannot insert it without the name and address of its author.

“P.” has taken much trouble in sending us “ Piper's news.”

A friend recommends to our attention che question regarding the New Exchange railing. Although not given to irony, we shall discuss it to-morrow.

The first of a series of Articles on Portugal under Miguel, from the pen of an eye-witness of his atrocities, will appear 10



TO OUR READERS. We are now entering upon our third week's labour, and we cat not allow the opportunity to pass without returning our most sincere thanks to the public for their kind and increasing patronage.

We are in hopes that we have now made such arrangements as to insure our readers being in possession of our Journal by nine o'clock, which at this season of the year may at least be accounted a good breakfast hour.

We would likewise take this opportunity of thanking our contemporaries of the Press for their kind notice of our labours, and especially of assuring The SCOTSMAN and The Glasgow HERALD, who have each shown so much kindness towards us, that it will be our endeavour ever to retain, by increased exertions, the good opinion which they have formed of the first steps which we have made in our literary career.


From our London Correspondent. The opera of Rob Roy bas been always a particular favourite of mine, and the other night I saw it enacted in a style, at Drury Lane, which I have seldom seen equalled. MACKEADY appeared in his original character of Macgregor, which he renders a fine, bold, and altogether splendid piece of acting; and its representation in other hands is either weak hy comparison, or ridiculous by imitation—the first position of which refers more particularly to Warde, and the latter to Cooper; both of whom I have seen in the part. Mr. Wood who has been ill all the week, has been the means of introducing Mr. Templetou in several of those characters which I presume he calls his own. I may merely say that I think the change is for the better, Templeton having the sweetest male voice on the stage, and being a much finer musician than Mr. Wood now is, or ever will be. IIe sung the airs given to Francis Osbuldiston in the most finished style, and his entire performance was received with that favour which is always due to excellence and modest merit. Many persons cry down Harley's Baillie, and, by way of absurdity, cry up Liston’s; but, I must confess I like the former best. It has less buffoonery, and more genuine dry humour, which is certainly more characteristic of the wary weaver of Glasgow, as drawn by the matchless author of the novel from which the drama is taken. The injunction, viz.—“ Let your clown say no more than is set down for him," should be strictly attended to, and this Mr. Liston invariably violates, and Mr. Harley pretty generally adheres to.

The true distinction of talent lies far more in raising a laugh out of the good joke of the author, than out of the slang puns of a greenroom. Major Galbraith was performed by Bedrord, and, barring a little too much breadth now and then, was about the best done thing in the play. Mr. Thompson, in Captain Thornton, looked as dull and uninteresting as a legitimnate November fog. There is no penetrating him, and he wanders and gapes about as if he were really in one. Mr. Perry was the very worst Owen ever exhibited before a row of gas lights, and Russell was just one shade better in Dougal. But how shall I characterize the exertions of Mrs. Wood, who made Diana Vernon what many singers would not condescend to do-a prominent feature. She introduced two extra ballads with great effect; and in one of them, “ Here's a health, bonny Scotlaud, to thee,” was vociferously applauded, and only escaped an encore by the interposition of one half of the audience. I never heard this songstress in better voice, and never saw an audience in better humour for relishing her singing. Mrs. Salmon performed Meg Merrylees, with about as much energy as a tointit could inuster. Notwithstanding the minor defects alluded to, I think I have said enough to convince you, who was not there, that had you been, and witnessed the united exertions of Macready, Harley, Templeton, Bedford, and Mrs. Wood, you would have been quite as much entertained as I was.

The piece of “ My own Lover,” announced at Drury Lane for performance, is from the pen of George RodWELL, who, both in the capacity of author and composer, is a man of very considerable ability.

Notwithstanding the many reports to the contrary, I may tell you that Robert le Diable is in a most forward state at Drury Lane Theatre. When George Colman heard that Bishop had slept a night or two at Calais, and mentioned as a reason for so doing, the difficulty of procuring a “ Diligence,” he obser ved, that he certainly ought to have got one somncwhere, because he used NONE of uis own. His most gracious Majesty is still at Brighton, and so is little Moses Poole, living in great style on the profits of the Dominique--and “so much for” the drama, till I next write you.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]





ment of her affairs, and it is worthy of remark that CASE.

when his functions as her deputy were suspended

which they often were during the last eïghteen months No trial has occurred in Glasgow, for many years, in -it was not on the ground of natural incapacity, but on the issue of which the public has expressed a deeper the ground of bad and immoral habits. The appellation interest, than that of the unhappy lad who was lately daft, by which, it seems, he was distinguished by the condemned for the murder of his aunt Mrs. Mac- children in the neighbourhood, and on which considerGibbon. The respectability of the poor old woman able stress was laid at the trial, is too vague in its meanwhose life was so inhumanly curtailed—the simple ing to be received as an element in so nice a calculation and harmless tenor of her general character—the in- as the extent of mind which any individual may


suptimate relation in which she stood to her destroyer- posed to possess. It is a term of degree, but not an epithe many proofs which she had exhibited of her interest thet of absolute signification, and is used in the common in his welfare, and of her desire to promote his per

speech of the country in a loose and varying sense. manent settlement in the world—have all combined to It may mean a person distinguished by some eccentriinvest the lamentable history of her death, with a cities of habit and manners, or one utterly destitute of deeper drapery of horror than usually surrounds even reason-a born ideot; but, in Stirret's case it could the most revolting of human crimes: and yet, even not mean the latter, for he was not an idiot, and, connow that the result is known, and that the community sequently, if it meant anything at all, it must have is assured that justice will be vindicated, there has signified the former. It is probable, however, that the succeeded to the primary emotion of indignation, a urchins who employed it had no very precise notion of strong feeling of sympathy. How is this inconsis- what it implied, and used it as a term of annoyance to tency to be accounted for? There are specialities in a weak lad, who was sensible to petty vexations. It the case, and these we shall endeavour calmly to re- was not proved on the trial that he was the subject of view.


fixed delusion, nor does it unequivocally appear The boy Stirret was adopted by Mrs. M'Gibbon, that he ever laboured under a decided paroxysm of and educated as her child, but it would appear that mania; yet the tendency to maniacal fury, when he he is not the only member of a family in which in- was under the influence of foreign excitement, was sanity is hereditary, but that he has always been re- pretty fairly made out, and it seemsto be indisputable, garded as a weak, and imbecile person. His look, that he had oftener than once attempted to destroy gait, and manner, were strongly confirmatory of this im- himself. This is the strong part of the evidence in his pression, and were indicative of what is colloquially favour and we have no doubt it would have operated known in Scotland by the name of “a want.It comes, so far beneficially, as to have procured a modification of therefore, to be a question of grave consequence to the sentence of the court, had not the circumstances ascertain, whether the deficiency was such as to entitle connected with the commission of the murder utterly him to the general immunity from moral responsibility, destroyed its weight. In the form of madness called which in all civilized countries has been extended to periodical insanity there are intervals of greater or such as are afflicted with the heaviest of all calamities. longer duration between the paroxysms; and the inOn this point the testimony is peculiarly conflicting; tegrity of the remission is generally estimated by its but, after the most patient consideration which we have length. If it be for days only, the presumption is been able to give to the exculpatory evidence, we re- against its completeness—if it be for weeks, the pregret to say, that, we do not consider it satisfactory. sumption that the malady bas suffered a positive sus. Weakness of intellect was clearly proved, but, as was pension is greatly increased -and if it extend to well observed by one of the most respectable medical móuths or years, what was in the other cases merely witnesses, there was no unequivocal proofs, either in presumption is converted into proof. Now, as it does his general conduct, or his occasional conversations, of not appear that this lad was ever positively insane, and disease of the understanding; and the distinction is a as all that can be alleged is, that he occasionally, and very important one. He was, obviously, not a man to at indeterminate, and distant periods, exhibited inwhose judgment anything could have been safely con- dications of disordered intellect, we cannot see, we · fided, even in the common business of the world; but confess, that this, strong though it be, amounts to he was not so bereft of understanding as not to be anything like demonstration of actual madness at the able to conduct any ordinary process of life, when in- time the deed was done. The mere act of destroying structed how it was to be done. After the death of a helpless and unsuspecting being, who had so many her husband, his aunt entrusted him with the manage- claims on his tenderness and protection, we are bound

to believe, for the sake of humanity, was the result • The above paper should have appeared in an earlier num- of a sudden maniacal impulse; but the same thing ber, but its publication was postponed, at the request of the

may be said of every wretch who imbrues his hands legal advisers of the unhappy lad to whom it relates. A reprieve

in the blood of a fellow creature. Besides, how shall baving reached Glasgow, we are no longer compelled, by a deference to the feelings of others, to delay publication. We have only

we account for all the indications of purpose, which to add, that we have heard of nothing which could induce us to the horrid transaction displays? If a maniac desalter the views which we originally took of this interesting trial. troys life, he is satisfied, and neither seeks to elude We have no sanguinary appetites to gratify; but, when we reflect

apprehension, nor to abstract property. His vengeance on the alarming fact, that four instances of atrocious murder have occurred in Edinburgh and Glasgow alone, during the last nine

has been appeased by the sacrifice which has been months, in which the plea of insanity has been urged in bar of made to it, and though the act be often premeditated, execution, we think it high time that the attention of society and the opportunity for carrying it into effect cunningly should be called to this delicate question.

watched, the distressing draina is closed when it is per


The eldest law of nature bids defend :

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


petrated. The knife is not withdrawn, washed, and his fate, which is now sealed; but we conceive it to be secreted.

The body of the vietim to imaginary our duty, as in some measure the guardians of public wrongs is not cleansed from gore, and decently laid feeling, to examine a delicate case of this sort upon out; and the whole proceeding, however shocking it general grounds, and to decide upon it without refermay be, bears unequivocal marks of having been de- ence to the influence which such decision

may signed, and executed by a creature over whose mind over the fortunes of any individual whatever. reason has lost its empire. But in Stirret's case it was not so. Whatever may have impelled him to it, the murder was done with deliberate and merciless

PORTUGAL UNDER MIGUEL. cruelty, and what is more, it was done for a given end. The house was rifled of the few valuables it possessed,

When force invades the gift of nature, life, wbich were conveyed to a miscreant who paid the

And if, in that defence, a tyrant fall, murderer a price for them. In all this we can recog

His death's his crime, not ours. nise no evidences of insanity, as that term is generally

DRYDEN'S DON SEBASTIAN. - used, and much as it grieves us to arrive at so dreadful a conclusion, we are bound in justice to the living,

The following is the first of a series of papers on Portugal upand the dead, to declare, that, in our opinion the

der Miguel, which we have received from a military gentleman verdict of the jury, and the judgment of the court, cannot be impugned.

in London, the eyewitness of many of the well known atrociThere is no crime which, in its immediate and con

ties which have characterised his cruel and tyrannical reign. As tingent effects, is so burtful to the best interests of

the gentleman who writes them has had the best opportunities of society, as murder ; and, delicate though the ground

being intimately conversant with this subject, we need scarcely be, we must add, that there is none in which the suggest to our readers, that the statements and deductions which rigid demands of justice can be less safely departed

he makes, will be found infinitely more sound and valuable than from. The principle which relieves an individual from

of those which are, for the most part, given by writers perthe usual moral responsibilities, who has ceased to be sonally unacquainted with Portugal, with its parties, its politics, answerable to the laws of reason, is a beautiful evidence and its wants. Our correspondent is master of these, and, being of the triumph of civilization over one of the least gifted with sound sense and a just discernment, is well calculated equivocal requisitions of the beart, which naturally for the task he has undertaken. Let us merely add, that whatdemands that life shall only be bought with life; but ever warmth of expression he may fall into in discussing this subwere it once received as an axiom that every weak or ject, may be pardoned, when the cruelties which have been shewn incapable person might with impunity raise his hand

to so many of his owu friends and to the best friends of Portugal against his fellow-man, a door would be opened for are fairly weighed and considered : the commission of crime which would inevitably end It is as painful, as it is remarkable to observe, the little interest in the total disruption of social life. If it be necessary excited in this country, by an event now in progress, big with imto curb the passions of a violent man, it must be

portance not only to the cause of liberty in general, but involving equally so to restrain the irregular feelings of a weak

the fate of a nation for ages so intimately connected with our own, In neither case is it any extenuation to say, that

as to have acquired the designation of our most ancient ally. habitual drinking, operating on a susceptible temper,

The attempt which the heir of the House of Braganza is about was the immediate cause of error, since this would

to make to recover his sceptre from the grasp of an unnatural broonly be adding to the liability to perpetrate villany,

ther, who has usurped it—who stole it as a thief in the night, the sin of a vice, which every man has it in his

and has swayed it in the midst of bloodshed and terror-will power to avoid if he will. Earl Ferrars was hanged

be made, ere another summer, and at this moment the hearts of for the murder of his servant, though it was clearly proved that he was choleric to madness, and when

thousands beat high with hope. Some in the dungeons of the under the influence of wine, quite ungovernable ; and

tyrant, without accusation, without trial, and without a crime. unless it be meant that drunkenness shall be esteemed

Some, still more wretched, hid for years in the recesses of their one of the seven virtues which save a man from per

homes, starting at every footstep, and hearing, in every wind, dition, we cannot comprehend how society is to be

the breath of the blood-hounds in search of Othem. thers scatheld together, if such be not the fate of all who follow tered over the world in exile, and all, until now, reduced to des. in his footsteps. If a poor and miserable Irishman, pair. These, by a successful result, will be restored to bappiwho never heard of moral responsibility as applied to ness—Portugal, to which nature has been so bountiful, where the crime of which he has been found guilty-or who,

the vine grows spontaneous on the rock, and the olive on the if he ever did hear of it, is incapable from ignorance, mountain top, will resume her rank amongst civilized nations. of appreciating its importance—be put to death for pass- Under a young Queen, educated in Constitutional principles, ing a forged note of the value of twenty shillings- confidence will be restored, capital and commerce will return, what shall we say to the reasoning which would de- abuses will be reformed with the liberty of the press and freeclare him unaccountable for his actions—who has

dom of discussion, the ignorant will be instructed, a degenerate destroyed a fellow creature, merely because his history nobility and a profligate Church, will be brought to the bar of exhibits various mental peculiarities which disqualify public opinion. It is not, however, Portugal alone, that will be him from being placed in the category of wise men or regenerated. From experience we may presume, that what Porfools ? To violate the humane enactment which places

tugal is, Spain must be. The shout of freedom in the one counan insane person under the immediate protection of

try has always sent its echoes through the other. The stream of the laws, be his conduct ever so unruly, would be to

the Guadiana is not wide enough to divide despotism from li. injure society in the tenderest point; but it is especially

berty. Away with the prevailing cant that the people of the Ponecessary, when considering so melancholy an occur

ninsula are not fit for free institutions. Did not the Constitutions rence as that which bas occupied us in this

of 1820, remain unshaken until 1823, when the boasted grandremember that the privilege may be prejudicially extended, and, from a faulty lenity, may be made to

son of Saint Louis, at the head of a French army, swept them comprehend cases in which the effects of momentary

away. It is the only triumph he has to brood over at Holyrood.

Let him enjoy it now if he can ! passion, or gross cupidity, are mistaken for evidences

It is a curious fact, that Portugal owes her actual degradation of deranged mind. In making these remarks we beg our readers to re

to two countries, the only strongholds of liberty in Europe. She collect that we are not prejudging the case of an

owes it, in the first instance, to the French, in 1823, and again, unfortunate man, whose actions have placed him within

the new Constitution of 1826 received its death-blow from the the pale of the law. So far as Stirret is concerned,

influence of a British Ministry. It can be shewn that Don Mithe world is virtually closed upon him, and the reason

guel, an exile at Vienna, would never have been admitted into ings of the men who live in it, can have no effect upon

Portugal, bad he not come under the auspices of England, lis

paper, to

« ZurückWeiter »