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Whenever the writer ventures an inch beyond his prototype, he falls into some gross blunder or fallacy, and at the end of almost every paragraph might be written by way note “ This misstates or mistakes the provisions of the Bill.” For example

" Thus all this villainy abduction) will be done with impunity. The servant swears she could not help it. The mother cannot be touched. The father has lost his child.—You will make childstealing and perjury (two of the most dangerous, demoralizing, and infamous crimes that can infest the happiness of society) the most trivial of offences. By making them to be done with impunity, and under colour of a judge's order, you will make them as it were lawful; and thus, at last, you will make people believe they are not even immoral at all! And people, as we have shown, are already too prone to believe this.”-p. 313.

“ What else can be the consequence of such an immoral act of Jegislation but to make wives see that it is no longer worth the trouble of a continuous and careful performance of the anxious and troublesome duties of a mother, when the same privileges, rights, and rewards which their performance alone used formerly to confer, can henceforth be had by virtue of a judge's order, without any such trouble at all? For henceforth every wife separated from her husband, who can only get a judge's order, will be whitewashed and justified in the eyes of society for her separation. For will she not be able to retort triumphantly against all the impugners of her delinquency, Here is an impartial umpire, one of the learned and upright judges of the land, who declares by his order of access that I am not at all to blame ; that I had a right to leave my husband ? What better justification can any one demand or desire ?!"-British and Foreign Review, pp. 289, 290.

In our opinion, none. But who is he that speaks of such duties as a trouble, and founds a long laboured tissue of fallacies on the assumed selfishness and corruption of women ?

“ Where was the mother of this man?-in her grave, or on this earth, when he undertook to speak of the whole female sex, as of animals who required caging and chaining ?-of English wives and mothers as if they all desired to forsake their homes,—as if they all hated and rebelled against their husbands,—as if they only waited for some revolting watch-word of liberty to give loose to every wild and profligate feeling? Did this author never see that very usual sight, a modest and affectionate wife?- woman watching the

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cradle of her sick child ?- -a mother teaching her little one to pray? Did he never see the welcome of a long absent son to his home, the embrace of the aged mother, the tears of the young sisters? Did he never see, hear, or read, any of the instances of devoted fondness and unswerving faith shown by women to their husbands in danger, in temptation, in distress? Such instances have abounded, and will continue to abound, though in an erring world. Such pictures are, I thank God, no images of romance, but every-day scenes from English domestic life. Finally, did this anonymous railer never hear it said (and that by his fellow-men) in behalf of the gentle, faithful, affectionate race he has maligned, that even among the most degraded class of women, among those whom early seduction has reduced to a life of mercenary sin, it is by no means uncommon to find some strong preference and faith of the heart, capable of withstanding even ill usage and brutality from its object; some link to better feeling, from the very strength of woman's nature' preponderating over the revolting circumstances of her lot; some narrow glimpse of a holier light, which runs like a silver thread through the coarse and soiled texture of her degraded destiny?"l-Stevenson's Letter, pp. 95, 97.

" Where is the mother of this man ?' It might be more to the purpose to inquire “ Where is his wife ?” We know very .well that there are many muddleheaded, ill-conditioned and conceited people in the world, who think it the height of presumption in any human being to differ from them, and break out into downright railing whenever they are staggered by an opponent's arguments, or find a difficulty in developing their own. But the frenzied coarseness, persevering malignity, and untired (not untiring) tautology of this production, are not thus easily accounted for. They are the result of strong personal antipathy or deadly apprehension of some kind; and, judging merely from internal evidence, we infer that it is the production of a man whose own designs are likely to be frustrated, or his own conduct exposed, through the provisions of the bill. If this be so, it is some comfort to think that he has rendered his situation worse by the attempt to save himself; for his wife has only to identify him as the writer of the article and get a judge to read it (if she can), and no further justification will be required of her.

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Since this was written, a pamphlet has reached us, entitled The Mutual Rights of Husband and Wife, &c. By R. Mence, Esq., containing some useful suggestions for improving the position of the wife. The writer, following up Lord Brougham's argument, finds fault with Serjeant Talfourd for not going far enough, though it is notorious that comprehensive measures of amelioration have been almost always carried by instalments in this country-witness the abolition of slavery, and the reform of the criminal law-so that, assuming more to be required, it by no means follows that the wrong course has been pursued. Can Mr. Mence suppose that Lord Brougham had any object in view beyond that of throwing out the Bill?



As our argument on this question has been misunderstood in some quarters, we are induced to recur to it for the purpose of very briefly restating our views.

We took for granted that, in the words of Blackstone, parliament can do every thing that is not naturally impossible“ this being the place where that absolute despotic power, which must in all governments reside somewhere, is entrusted by the constitution of these kingdoms”-and general doctrines or dicta regarding the powers of colonial governments or legislatures are clearly inapplicable to colonies where the legislative authority is settled and defined by parliament; so that, if parliament were to say that all laws and ordinances made by John Thomson should be valid within a given colony, we know no legal ground on which their validity could be impeached. When, therefore, the 31 Geo. III. c. 31, invested the Canadian legislature with the power of making laws for the peace, welfare, and good government of the province, and enacted that all such laws should be valid and binding to all intents and purposes whatever within the said province, we thought, and we think still, that the only questions were-1. What laws came within the meaning of the Act; 2. Whether Lord Durham took the power

in question unimpaired. To say that an ordinance within the meaning of the Act is void, because it is opposed to the broad principles of justice or repugnant to the spirit of our laws, is dealing in terms of which no definite or practical application can be made. This must mean, if it means any thing, either that parliament cannot exercise or delegate such a power, or that a colonial legislature is inherently incapable of receiving it; neither of which propositions, for the reasons above suggested, is maintainable. Nor can we admit the nullifying effect of any description of repugnancy, unless a provision be so far repugnant to a subsequent act, that it may be considered as repealed; or so far repugnant to the feelings of the people, as to bring about a revolution. Besides, what is repugnant to the British constitution, or who is to declare the repugnancy? The British constitution, as we understand it, implies every thing necessary to the welfare of the state, and we can fancy occasions---during foreign invasion or civil war, for example—when self-preservation would justify the passing of the most arbitrary ordinances, or the establishment of a temporary dictatorship. Is there any thing revolting to natural justice, or even inexpedient, in delegating to a colonial government the power to act in the same manner on emergencies? Such government, far from being thereby made independent of the parent state, would be simply the conductor or conduit-pipe through which the will of the supreme legislature is conveyed.1

It has been said that there are acts of the British legislature restricting the powers granted by 31 Geo. III. The enactment most confidently cited is the 56th section of 3 & 4 Will. IV. c.59," that all laws, bye-laws, usages or customs in practice at the time of the passing of the Act, or which hereafter shall be or endeavoured or pretended to be in force or practice,

To illustrate the argument in the manner best calculated to bring it home to our legal readers—an ordinance passed by the legislature of Lower Canada derives its stringent force from the British parliament much as a use on the execution of a power is fed by the original conveyance; and to refer to general doctrines of repugnancy in such a case, is like relying on the general doctrine regarding a master's liability for his servant, when the servant has acted under a specific written authority,

in any of the British possessions in America, which are in any wise repugnant to this Act, or to any act of parliament made or hereafter to be made in the United Kingdom, so far as such act shall relate to and mention the said possessions, are and shall be null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever.”

As it is not shown in what respect the above Act is repugnant, nor alleged that any repugnant act, expressly mentioning Canada, has been passed, the intended inference fails on the bare inspection of the clause; and on turning to the 11th section, it will be found, that the 31 Geo. III, c. 31. is expressly excepted from the operation of the Act.

We stated our reasons for thinking that the powers of the former legislature of Lower Canada passed to Lord Durham and his council, in language not admitting of a doubt. The Act was passed for the express purpose (as declared by the preamble) of investing him with them; and if Sir William Follett's clause cannot be reconciled with the essential provisions, it must fall. At the same time we quite agree with the general view taken by Sir William Follett in his admirable speech at Exeter. Lord Durham was appointed for temporary purposes, as clearly appears from the recital of the Act. “ Whereas it is expedient to make temporary provision for the government of Lower Canada, in order that parliament may be enabled, after mature deliberation, to make permanent arrangements," &c., which forms an odd contrast with some passages in the Proclamation :

“ When I sought to obliterate the traces of recent discord, I pledged myself to remove its causes, to prevent the revival of a contest between hostile races- -to raise the defective institutions of Lower Canada to the level of British civilization and freedom-to remove all impediments to the course of British enterprize in this province, and promote colonization and improvement in the others -and to consolidate these general benefits on the strong and permanent basis of a free, responsible, and comprehensive government."

“ I cannot but regret being obliged to renounce the still more glorious hope of employing unusual legislative powers in the endowment of that province with those free municipal institutions, which are the only sure basis of local improvement and representative

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