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roborated this evidence; they all deposed to the perfect sobriety of Lieutenant Croft, and were mostly aware of the hour at which the party broke up.

Here was positive testimony in contradiction to the statement of Lavinia White, respecting the time when the alleged murder took place. The next evidence was even more important.

It was a plan of the officers' barracks, constructed from actual measurement by an engineer officer. It has been already observed that the staircase leading from the entrance, within the porch, was a very steep and lofty one. It was here demonstrated on the plan -and confirmed by the affidavit of the draughtsman—that a person standing on the landing-place at the top of the stairs, could not by any possibility, even in a crouching posture, see so far as the porch; and that to see what went on outside it would be necessary to go half way down the stairs. The witness, Lavinia White, has sworn that when she saw the blow struck, she was leaning over the rails at the top of the staircase, whereas it was perfectly impossible for her in that position to have seen anything at all. The fatal catastrophe took place, according to her own account, so suddenly, that had she been standing on the stairs where she could have seen the murder committed, she must inevitably have exposed herself to the view of the murderer as he returned straight up to his room.

The venerable judge who presided requested that the plan might be handed to him; and, after a careful inspection he submitted it to the foreman of the jury, who passed it round. There was a pause in the court, and the judge demanded of Mr. S

if he had any more evidence to produce ?

“None, my lord,” replied the counsel; “we rest our defence here."

The next thing that occurred was significant; the AttorneyGeneral declined to reply. His lordship accordingly rose, and charged the jury. It is unnecessary here to follow the learned judge throughout his charge; it is sufficient to say, that while he summed up with the utmost impartiality, he particularly directed the attention of the jury to the glaring discrepancies in the evidence of the principal witness against the prisoner. The issue, however, was scarcely for a moment doubtful; for the foreman of the jury, rising immediately the judge had concluded, informed his lordship that they were all agreed, their unanimous verdict being “ Not guilty."

The strong murmur of approbation that ran through the court on this announcement evinced the general sympathy felt for the accused, and the judge, rising again, expressed the share he took in it. “He was most happy,” he said, “ to dismiss Mr. Croft from that bar, to return, without a stain on his character, to the honourable profession to which he belonged."

It is a common saying, that “Murder will out.” Full twenty years have passed by since the event which we have described took place, but to this hour the murderer of the Halifax pensioner bas never been discovered.

THE GAOL CHAPLAIN;

OR, A DARK PAGE FROM LIFE'S VOLUME,

CHAPTER LVI.

THE “NEWSPAPER MAN:" AND THE RIGHT HONOURABLE GEORGE

CANNING.

"Among the sources of those innumerable calamities which from age to age have overwhelmed mankind, may be reckoned as one of the principal, the abuse of words.”—Bishop Horne.

"For no offence that I am ashamed of-shrink from avowing—or would hesitate to repeat to-morrow under similar provocation !" was the answer given me, one November morning, intelligent but excited young man, as a repiy to the usual routine question,

For what are you committed ?"

That the chaplain should see all parties as speedily as possible after their admission, was one of the prison regulations; and in a general way some lengthy and truly extraordinary answers to a set of common-place questions were the result. On the occasion to which I refer, Pounce was present; and, coming up to my assistance, whispered:

“He is charged with a most deliberate and desperate assault; in fact, he has licked his man so thoroughly that his life has been pronounced in danger ; and the magistrates have in consequence declined receiving bail.”

“ Who is he?"

“ Difficult to describe him !" returned Pounce slyly ; "his fist is -as Mr. Lammond has discovered ere this—rather heavy; and his pen Lord John Russell has found rather keen. He baited his lordship week after week, with merciless severity, on the score of his unhappy selection of Frost for a magistrate. And little Spring Rice -touching Sir John Newport's pension, and the Exchequer job_he has literally mauled."

I went on with my task-filling up the blank spaces as rapidly as consistent with accuracy, and asking the fewest possible questions. At length some observation escaped me, some manifestation of my regret at seeing a person of his evident acquirements and gentlemanly address, so circumstanced. His reply was immediate, and rather warmly given.

“Pray, sir, waive all expressions of condolence. I glory in what I have done. I am aware of the annoyances of my position ; and prepared to submit to them.”

I had now arrived at the perplexing column “occupation, or employment:" and for the moment felt puzzled. The accused party caught my hesitation, instantly divined its cause, and terminated it by remarking, “ Put me down, sir, by all means, as my opponent described

me, 'a newspaper man,'— nothing more-a mere newspaper man.'

“Literature,” was my rejoinder; and, with a gesture, I closed the interview.

VOL. XVII.

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The following morning, at the conclusion of the chapel service, I was told the last committal desired particularly to see me. The accounts of Mr. Lammond were, I learnt, still more unfavourable that morning: his medical men, it was given out, entertained serious doubts of his recovery. I imagined, therefore, my summons had reference to the prisoner's natural anxiety on this head. I was speedily and thoroughly undeceived.

“] wish, sir,” said Wheldrake, “to apologise for the hasty manner in which I replied to your inquiries yesterday ; and to express my regret that, however chafed, and under whatever provocation, I should have forgotten our relative position.”

I told him I accepted his excuses; and had already forgotten the curt replies to which they pointed: expressed my satisfaction at seeing him in a calmer and more rational mood; and advised him to lose no time in rallying his friends around him. I added, “it is but proper you should know that Mr. Lammond is pronounced worse ; and that his medical men anticipate fatal consequences.".

No, no, sir; he won't die !" observed Wheldrake with a smile. “Cowards are notoriously long lived. He has been punished to a nicety, I own: but he will rally! Society will not be deprived just yet of so promising a member as Mr. Sneyd Lammond.”

I cared not to reply, and he continued,

“ His sufferings are self-incurred. He grossly insulted my youngest sister. Intoxicated he might be at the moment. He says he was: and I dispute not his assertion. But, is that plea to justify brutal gestures, and blackguard ribaldry? I called on him the next morning, and calmly demanded immediate explanation and ample apology. He laughed at the idea of either. I then told him that there was but one other course open to me, and that I would depute a friend to wait upon him. His habitual arrogance then vented itself in characteristic terms. He reminded me, in most offensive phrase, that he was the son of Sir Luke Lammond, and the cousin of Baroness Badgebury; and asked me if I was mad enough to suppose he could entertain for a single moment the idea of giving a meeting to 'a mere newspaper man,' one of the miscreants of the daily press ?' I replied, that the satisfaction which he refused me as a gentleman I would take as a man; and that at a very early opportunity. I kept my promise that afternoon; intercepted him as he quitted his club; broke my horsewhip over his back; and then, setting to work à la Cribb, punished him to my heart's content. Do you blame me?”

“ You had no right to take the law into your own hands.”

* Ay, ay! you say that as an official personage,-as part of the machinery attached to this gaol, - as connected, and closely, with the magistrates, — and, above all, as a minister; but, what say you as a man?"

I can never divest myself of my office." “But, if you could ?" persisted he.

If I could, I should say,- I am sorry your horsewhip broke so soon; and that I hope your fists made amends for its fragility!"

“I ask no more,” said he complacently; "touch the feelings, and you get the heart's verdict. On the main point I was sure you would be with me.”

“I am with you on many,” was my answer. “I have long thought

that those who avowedly direct the political opinions of their fellows do not occupy that place in society to which their attainments justly entitle them. No common range of information must, in our time, be his, who writes for the daily

press." “Ah! say you so? Yours is not the generally-received opinion : there are those who look upon us as the Pariahs of society."

“Coxcombs may: not the thoughtful and calmly judging."

“A desperately small minority! The treatment dealt out to us by the educated, aye, and by privileged classes, is inconsistent enough. At one time we are fondled and flattered. At another we are avoided and abused. On the eve of a general election, or during any contested representation either for county or borough, amazing courtesy is shown us. Notes then come in, addressed :

«« Private and confidential. “MY DEAR MR. WHELDRAKE,

“My speech from the balcony of The Lamb,' this morning, is, on reflection, anything but satisfactory to me. Its conclusion was abrupt ; and its commencement feeble. Touch it

up
when

you

write out your notes. I rely on your good taste and kind offices. I am, always, your faithful and obliged,

" Philip GAYBOY.' Or, the missive runs:« DEAR WHELDRAKE,

“ Your support in. The County Mercury’is most important to me at this juncture. I count confidently upon its continuance. Give the electors to understand that I have materially modified my views on the Poor Law question ; and, above all, remind them of my opponent Saunderson's thick and thin support of that obnoxious measure. Stereotype his vote on the separation-of-man-and-wife clause! My obligations will be boundless. Yours, most sincerely,

" ADOLPHUS SLYMAN. «P.S.-Send me 200, or 300, copies of your next publication: any number, in fact, you like.'

“Or thus :

“For God's sake, my dear friend Wheldrake, do your best to set me right with the worthy electors of Goochembury. My last vote was ill-considered, and truly unfortunate. Say everything in my defence that occurs to you as likely to soothe them. My return is all-important to me.

Your infinitely obliged,

«Hugh ĠO-A-HEAD.' “ The election contests are concluded; popular feeling subsides. Parliament sits; and business brings me up to town for eight-andforty hours. I meet in Pall Mall Mr. Gayboy, or Mr. Slyman, or Mr. Go-a-head, and am fool enough to fancy that I shall be cordially greeted. A distant bow is accorded me; with, perhaps, the muttered, but distinctly audible, comment, addressed to some grinning hanger-on beside him, “No! no! no public recognition of a Newspaper man! What a greenhorn must the fellow take me for!'”

“Strange exhibition of want of proper feeling,” said I, “only to be accounted for by the unworthy conduct of a few malignant men in the literary world of desperate fortunes, and shipwrecked character.”

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“True,” rejoined my companion; “but with whom does the blame rest? Who are the tempters ? Those whose descent, acquirements, rank, resources, should teach them better things. Take a case in point. Soon after Canning's elevation to office, an underling, apparently-I say apparently—in the confidence of that formidable party which was bent on hurling Canning from power, sought out, at his wretched lodgings, a young man then employed on a rising Sunday paper. The party visited had the reputationwhether well or ill deserved is another matter-of writing first-rate political squibs. He was needy; out of health ; in debt; and had two aged parents dependent on him for support. The visitor brought with him three letters, which, he was desirous should be turned into rhyme. This done, it was his pleasure they should then make their appearance in succession in the paper, on three consecutive Sundays. He was earnest that this master-stroke of policy' should tell; and that 'plenty of venom and sting' should be infused into the version. The pecuniary remuneration proposed was ample. The party applied to hesitated ; and, as a preliminary, desired to look at the letters. This concession was at first stoutly refused, but at length reluctantly yielded. The documents were put into his hands. They were letters from Canning to his mother, Mrs. Hunn,-three clever, mischievous, gossipping letters,—written in a spirit of unbounded confidence ; couched in the most affectionate terms; and breathing in more passages than one the most filial anxiety for his mother's comfort and happiness. Poor Canning! if there was one point on which he was more susceptible than another, it was this ill-starred mother. Unfortunate in her name - Mother Hunn' his opponents termed her; unfortunate in her second marriage; unfortunate in her choice of a profession-the stage ; unfortunate in her reception on it, for she was never more than barely tolerated; but still richly compensated for all her trials, and sorrows, and reverses, by the undeviating affection of her devoted and gifted son. How her letters found their way into the enemy's camp was matter of many a wearisome conjecture. But it was imagined they were lost with some other documents belonging to that lady when his papers were removed from Wyken Hall, in Leicestershire.”

You are in error, I think; nay, I am persuaded that Canning never resided in Leicestershire.”

“Pardon me: he did. His domicile was Wyken Hall, near Hinckley. Both his sons were at school there under the charge of a Mr. Hay; and, if my memory serves me rightly, his elder and more remarkably gifted son,—his favourite in truth,—w placed under the medical treatment of the late well-known Mr. Chesshyre, one of the most successful quacks of the day. But to return to the letters. Some of the paragraphs were absurd enough, and would have made exquisite fun if duly coloured, exaggerated, and cayenned. Others would have produced a rich harvest of mischief from the great names they introduced, and the droll anecdotes appended. And one letter must inevitably have caused infinite embarrassment' from its clever gossip, the caustic hits it contained at some of the very men with whom he was then acting, and a biting allusion to the reigning monarch and Lady -, an allusion which, it was thought, to George the Fourth would have been specially un. palatable. Altogether, these letters, peppered and versified, would

was

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