Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

in conversation, and therefore not to be used by the çriminal to a man of the prosecutor's quality, who was likewise rested with a double title to the wall at the time of their conversation, both as it was the upper hand, and as it was a shelter from the wea. ther. The evidence being very full and clear, the jury, without going out of court, declared their opinion upanimously, by the mouth of their fore. man, that the prosecutor was bound in honour to make the sun shine through the criminal,” or, as they afterwards explained themselves, " to whip him through the lungs.'

The Censor, knitting his brows into a frown, and looking very sternly

, upon the jury, after a little pause, gave them to know, 6 that this court was erected for the fiuding out of penalties suitable to offences, aud to restrain the outrages of private justice; and that he expected they should moderate their verdict." The jury therefore retired, and being willing to comply with the advices of the Censor, after an hour's conversation, delivered their opinion as follows.

6. That, in consideration this was Peter Plumb's first offence, and that there did not appear any, muhim lice prepense in it, as also that he lived in good reputation among his neighbours, and that his taking the wall was only se defendendo, the prosecutor should let him escape with life, and content himself with the slitting of his nose, and the cutting off both his ears." Mr. Bickerstaff, smiling upon the court, told them, “ that he thought the punishment, even under its present mitigation, too severe ; and that such penalties might be of ill consequence in a trading nation." He therefore pronounced sentence against the criminal in the following manner: “ that his hat, which was the instrument of offence, should be forfeited to the court; that the criminal should

the

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

that he had never employed himself beyond the twisting of a whip, or the making of a pair of nute crackers, in which he only worked for his diversion, in order to make a, present now and then to his friends. The prisoner being asked, “ what he could say for himself,” cast several reflections upon the honourable Mr. Gules; as, that he was not worth a groat; that nobody in the city would trust him for a half-penny; that he owed him money which he had promised to pay him several times, but never kept his word; and, in short, that he was an idle beg. garly fellow, and of no use to the public.” This sort of language was very, severely reprimanded by the Censor, who told the criminal, “ that he spoke in contempt of the court, and that he should be proceeded against for contumacy, if he did not change his style.” The prisoner, therefore, desired to be heard by his counsel, who urged in his defence,

that he put on his hat through ignorance, and took the wall by accident." They likewise produced several witnesses, that he made several motions with his hat in his hand, which are generally understood as an invitation to the person we talk with to be covered ; and that, the gentleman not taking the hint, he was forced to put on his hat, as being trollbled with a cold. There was likewise an Irishman, who deposed, that he had heard him cough threeand-twenty times that morning." And as for the wall, it was alleged, that he had taken it inadvertently, to save himself from a shower of rain which was then falling. The Censor, having consulted the men of honour who șat at his right-hand on the bench, found they were all of opinion, that the defence made by the prisoner's counsel did rather aggravate than extenuate his crimc; that the motions and intimations of the hat werc a tuken of superiority

Or ad pt

age

be nce,

them wear a sword, and that consequently they had no right to quarrel upon a point of honour; to preTent such frivolous appeals for the future, they should both of them be tossed in the same blanket, and there adjust the superiority as they could agree on it betwecn themselves.". The Censor confirmed the verdict.

Richard Newman was indicted by Major Punto, for having used the words,“ perhaps it may be so, in a dispute with the said Major. The Major urged 6 that the word perhaps was questioning his veracity, and that it was an indirect manner of giving him the lie.” Richard Newman had nothing more to say for himself, than that 6 he intended no such thing; and threw himself upon the mercy of the court. The jury brought in their verdict special.

Mr. Bickerstaff stood up, and, after having cast his eyes over the whole assembly, hemmed thrice. He then acquainted them, “ that he had laid down a rule to himself, which he was resolved never to depart from, and which, as he conceived, would very much conduce to the shortening the business of the court: I mean,” says he, never to allow of the lie being given by construction, implication or induction, but by the sole use of the word itself.” He then proceeded to shew the great mischief that had arisen to the English nation from that pernicious monosyllable; that it had bred the most fatal quar. rels between the dearest friends; that it had frea quently thinned the guards, and made great havock in the army; that it had sometimes weakened the city trained bands; and, in a word, had destroyed many of the bravest men in the isle of Great Britain'. For the prevention of which evils for the future, he instructed the jury to present the word itself as a nuisance in the English tongue; and further pro•

und med -ith

Dod

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

go to the warehouse from whence he came, and thence, as occasion should require, proceed to the Exchange, or Garraway's coffee house, in what manner he pleased; but that neither he, nor any of the family of the Plumbs, should hereafter appear in the streets of London out of their coaches, that so the foot way might be left open and undisturbed for their betters."

Dathan, a pedling Jew, and T. R-, a Welshman, were indicted by the keeper of an alchouse in Westminster, for breaking the peace and two earthen mugs, in a dispute about the antiquity of their families, to the great detriment of the house, and dis; turbance of the whole neighbourhood. Dathan said for himself, “ that he was provoked to it by the Welshman, who pretended that the Welsh were an ancienter people than the Jews; whereas," says he, “ I can shew by this genealogy in my hand, that I am the son of Mesheck, that was the son of Naboth, that was the son of Shalein, that was the son of

" The Welshman here interrupted him, and told him," that he could produce shennalogy as well as himself;" for 6 that he was John ap Ricc, ap Shenken, ap Shones.” He then turned himself to the Censor, and told him in the same broken accent, and with much war

varmth, " that the Jew would needs uphold, that King Cadwallader was younger than Issachar.” Mr. Bickerstaff seemed very much inclined to give sentence against Dathan as being a Jew; but finding reasons, by some expressions which the Welshman let fall in asserting the antiquity of his family, to suspect that the said Welsh. man was a Pre-Adamite, he suffered the jury to go out, without any previous admonition. After some time they returned, and gave their verdict, “ that it appearing the persons at the bar did neither of N° 256. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1710,

Nostrum est tantas componere lites.

VIRG. Ecl. iii. 108. 'T'is ours such warm contentions to decide.

R. WYNNE.

The Proceedings of the Court of Honour, held in

Sheer-lane on Monday the twentieth of November, 1710, before ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esquire, Cen

sor of Great-Britain. Peter PLUMB, of London, merchant, was indicted by the honourable Mr. Thomas Gules, of Gule-hall in the county of Salop, for that the said Peter Plumb did, in Lombard-street, London, between the hours of two and three in the afternoon, meet the said Mr. Thomas Gules, and, after a short saluta, tion, put on his hat, value five-pence, while the honourable Mr. Gules stood bare headed for the space of two seconds. It was further urged against the crimioal, that, during his discourse with the prosecutor, he feloniously stole the wall of him, having clapped his back against it in such a manner, that it was impossible for Mr. Gules to recover it again at his taking leave of him. The prosecutor alleged, that he was the cadet of a very ancient family; and that, according to the principles of all the younger brothers of the said family, he had never sullied himself with business, but had chosen rather to starve, like a man of honour, than do any thing be. neath his quality. He produced several witnesses,

« PredošláPokračovať »