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his master's question with professional of an only sou loved even to dotage. gravity-“ An be's to live like ase of and generally expected to enjoy all us, sir, by what comes frac his mouth, that the courtesy of Scotch laws allows he's right to put sae muckle into it. a reputed father to bestow. The Sheriff I ne'er saw sic a keen set lad."'_“I formed his own opinion, and mounted asked you," said the Sheriff, biding an his borse to visit Cunningham of Blackextra dimple in his sleek face, " whe- ire himself. ther his appearance and dimensions are A large round promontory, single and such as would be decent in my office, detached from the long link of heathy and suited to his profession ?"-" He'll bills bebiud and opposite, and still more do well enow," answered honest Muc distinguished by a black covering of kloquack-" he has made an unco stir forest-trees, gave its name to Cunuing. among the old rats in the barn-Its my ham's mansion. As Elliot plunged into thinking, sir, he would dieve a whole the road which led him into its depths synod of elders."-Elliot stopped him of shade, he mused on the fittest means by issuing his command for the youth's of introducing bis purpose to a father introduction, and presently a stranger whose character was too upright to pera stood before him, whose dress, though mit a suspicion of unjustificd resentgentlemanly, was soiled, as it seemed, by ment, and too stern to allow easy atonea long journey on foot, and unsuited to ment. His meditations were ended by the singular delicacy of his form and Cunningham's approach on horseback, aspect. “ Your name is Milton?" said They were little more than strangers to the Sheriff, smiling at his visitor's re each other's persons, but, as is usual in semblance to that soft and blooming remote districts, fully acquainted with beauty wbich the great bard is said the situation and repute eacb possessed. to have possessed when a female troue The Sheriff's heart and countenance badour left her tablets by his side to were well suited to an intercessor, and express its effect. The youth's eye had he opened his mission with the gentlest judeed that tender brightness and trans- caution towards the feelings of an angry parency observed in early portraits of parent and the safety of a son who had Milton in his boyhood, shaded by the thrown himself on his protection. Cun-. same kind of waviog hair, whose rich ningbam of Blackire listened courtetint was hardly required to embellish ously but unmoved, and answered in by contrast the extreme fairness of his ambiguous hinta respecting the punishcheek. The Sheriff thought that such ment due to felony, and the scandal of must be the eye which, according to insulting a young female under her Scotch proverb, may “split a stone,” guardian's roof. " Let him work, and addressed his enquiries with more sir ?" be suddenly exclaimed, with an blandishment than success. Young Mil- almost purple dosh of indignation ton's tone was coldly reserved, and his wiser laws than our's have deemed auswers only amounted to repetitions Jabour a more useful punishment than that he had no friends or home, and imprisonmeut or death.”—“Blackire,” would consider humble and gratuitous replied the Sheriff gravely, “I have oniployment as bounty till his abilities boen compelled to study buman nature, bad been manifested.
and cannot believe tbat the miscrics The Sheriff had seen something more beaped on a young mind will fertilize in Mueklequack is evasive answers than it as the most disgustful compost enthe mere drybess of privileged humour; riches the earth. This coarsc thought is aud having dismissed the petitioner with itself a sample of the fruits which such a request to await his determivalion till cultivation produces. Hard and insult. the next morning, he began a private ing usage in youth removes the soft aud, close scrutiny with his servant. bloom both of virtuc and beauty; and But the servitor of the law had been too for myself,” he added, biding his ear. loog acquainted with demursand detours nest purpose in a facetious air, “I to yield his secret casily: and Elliot would prefer 'a foot with a corn or needed all his skill to wring from him chilblain to one made callous by going that Milton was the offending and dig- bare through stony paths. The corn carded son of a neighbouring gentle would shrink from too rough approach, man, whose inflexible character was and the chilblain might be cured by well supported by his ample fortune. gentle warmth, but the bard bare foot He discovered also that no slight error would probably go through mire and could bare caused the total dismission thorns without fccting."
Blackire made no reply, and turned ready, and the Sheriff's eyes moistened bis horse into another road, while She- as they took their last glance, Milton riff Elliot directed his homewards, stepped back, and put a small sealed weighing the indirect accusations he had packet into bis hand. “It is addressed,” heard, and endeavouring to guess the said he, “ to the donor of all I now person who had suffered these supposed possess, and I know, though I have outrages.
not expressed, how much I owe him. Cunningham was a bachelor like him. Let him preserve this till my return, self, and had no female guest at present, or till he hears of my death.” _“ Only except an orphan neice under pupillage, say that your accuser is mistaken !" aud her governess. Common rumour returned the Sheriff eagerly-but Milhad indicated that he wished to unite ton shook bis head, and leaped into the his ward and his acknowledged son, boat in silence. His youth, his affectwho could have bad no temptation, ing countenance, and even bis obdatherefore, to any clandestine or in- racy, gave him a kind of mysterious jurious act; and how could theft be hold on bis patron's miod, which replausibly imputed to the presumptive tained all the legendary romance of the heir of such abundance ! Elliot returned Border Elliots, blended with the favish einbarrassed and undecided to his home, kindness of unoccupied affections. He where his suitor awaited him with a hoarded the packet entrusted to him calm countenance, which he examined with inviolable reverence to its seals; strictly while he announced the failure and perceiving by its address that Mil. of his mediation : " But,” he added, ton recognized bis benefactor, he
your father sends you this purse thought of bim incessantly with that to
- Would he give me gladdening warmth which the grateful another blow ?" said Milton Cunning- give to the beneficent. ham, and, as he recoiled from it, bis Three years passed away without any countenance darkened into a startling communication between ibe father and resemblance of his father's. The Sheriff, son, or any appareot change in the forstill influenced in his favour by feelings mer's inflexible resentment. Nor was which he chose neither to resist nor there any material alteration in his family define, forbore any farther comment, affairs and general conduct, except more and detained him under his roof, with- ostentatious splendor on some occasions, out distinctly expressing his opinions and querulous litigation on others. A or desigos. On the sixth day, a cadet's summons had been issued against him commission arrived from London, fol- fur "count and reckoning” by the Jawed by suitable equipment, appearing tutors and curators of a young heritor; to proceed from his father. Young Mil- or,
or,"as English lawyers would phrase it, ton received them with a cold and stub- for an adjustment of accompls with a born sultenness, which induced the She- minor's guardians. Thongh' the subriff to change bis measures. Without ject of dispute seemed trilling at first, preamble, he began by a sudden and other clainis aud unexpected pleas be direct appeal to his conscience, for the came entangled with it, till the dissolusame reason, that men attack marble tion of Cunningham's large property with iron, and hard metals with a file. seemed inevitable. Many pitied the He named the broad and beavy charge disastrous progress of a litigating spiindicated by his fatber, and the rumours' rit, and a few were anxivus to prewhich his silent obstinacy warranted. serve Cuoningbam's mind from ruinous He intimated, that the noblest and despondency. Neil Elliot stood aloof, strongest self-command was shewn by half-resenting the ill-success of his memeeting the enquiry, and enduring the diation, and more than half-suspecting censure even of a judge too austere. some deeper cause for bis neighbour's Milton answered coldly, but with sin- dejection. He always believed that gular expression, " A lie has no feet” wounds of the mind, whether given by --and began to prepare for his long grief or guilt, resemble those of tbc voyage.
body, where time makes a callus of Elliot saw him go to the place of an outward hurt, but a cancer of a embarkation without the slightest de. bidden one. Therefore he preferred parture from his gloomy reserve, or open faults and grievances to any disthe least abatement of that indifference guise, and sought no intimacy with which he had always shewn to suspicion a man whose 'impenetrable character or disgrace. But when the boal was seemed like tbc smouth stone laid over
& grave. He was musing on this sub prise and consternation were inexpres. ject by his bed-chamber lamp, when sible, and must have been observed, if, a courier brought a special message with presence of mind which far sure from Canningham of Blackire, re: passed his, she had not immediately quiring his professional aid and instant begun the business of sigeaiure. Don presence. He obeyed immediately, not could Elliot act in this lerrible di, doubting that this late summons pro lemına? The suhile spirit which could. cecded from his death-bed, and would confront him without shrinking, might be followed by some decisive commu. deyise falsehoods suficient to bafile his nication respecting his son. Elliot's allegations, and her willing dupe would amazement was extreme when he found probably sustain her. Before he had Blackire in apparent health, and re delerinined, the time of action was past;: ceived his injunctions to fill up a the minister performed the brief cere. stamped paper with a marriage con mony of a Scolch marriage, and the tract, after which the kirk-minister unwilling witness bastened away, bit. would perform the ceremony.-" Are terly feeling that he might have escaped you not aware,” said Elliot, " tbat reproach himself if he bad resisted the such a ceremony precludes in Scotland first proposal of a false precontract the necessity of any writien precogni. if, in short, he had not been lempied tion, as it will invest all this woman's to abet evil by a remole hope of good. elfspring, though of prior birth, with It was not too lale, perhaps, to defeat. the rights of legitimacy?"-" She has this precognition, as even the cours but one,” replied Cunningham, casting teoos laws of Scotland cannot support down bis eyes ;
" and I only wish by one, if the circumstances of lhe parties the terms of a seltlement to bar her at the period of the pretended date clains on my estate."' – Elliot smiled were such as lo render a legal contract, at the evasion, rightly judging that her impossible. But the disgrace and mis demands would be of little importance sery of an investigation would fall hea-, to an estate which would be soon sur viest on the innocent, and it was easy: rendered to his creditors. “Then," he to perceive that the blandishments of a answered, "if you only wish lo exclude, base woman had utlerly bewildered and her from the law's allowance of one subdued Black ire's violent spirit, as a, third of your rents and woveables, it, skein of thread entangles the crocodile's. will be sufficient to sigo a selllement teeth. He coutented himself, therefore, wilbout any pretence of a precontract, with hoping that he knew the worst, which, however sanctioned by the couro consequences ;-a hope always deceita: tesy of Scotland, will seem, in this ful, and a kind of knowledge never. instance, only a deliberate and needless granted to those who deviale even a : falschood."- A dark flash escaped Cun. siogle step from the right path. ningham's eyes, but his determined À cother year passed, aud the Sheriff aspect remained, and he replied, “ My was seated by bis fire-side, comparing heirs at law are among ny persecutors,
the civil institutes of various coupand I have resolved to defeat them by tries, with a remorseful recollection, giving iny, sou rights beyond dispute, if that, by upguardedly availing biniself. enforced by an altested acknowledge of one, be had swept away the lineal ment:of private marriage."--Elliot was succession of an honourable family, silenced, for he saw onder this aflec established a profligate woman in iis tation of spleen a revival of his parental highest place, and given the rights of loye, which sought to disguise itself inheritance to a very doubtful claim-: eyen 'in hatred to his beirs at law. ant. He had once deemed the marriage. Therefore lie prepared a contract, with laws of England too rigid to afford a full and formal preamble, stating an refuge to early and innocent affections; irregular inarriage twenty years ante. . and he had inought their formalities cedent to this date belwoon the pare often urged imprudence into guilt;. ties; and Cunningham ushierod biru but he now gave inore, biller blame into another apartinent to witness its to those of Scotland, which render completion. Ilis chosen bride, the rashness irretrievable, and artifice casy. pother of his soul, a wailed him there He sighed to think the medium was not with the kirk minister, and received yet found between siatules that make Elliot as a total stranger, but the first vice desperate, and Ibose that give it a, glance at her face convinced him it premium and a privilege: and wiser: was one he well rememberedd: His sur., casuists might have doubted sheibor,
moral order is most injured by laws you may lay claim in England, by toe rigorous to be enforced, or by virtue of your legalized birth, and atong others wbose force is a protection to for this transaction."—" My birth!"** offenders.
repeated the young man, starting In the midst of these professional “'it was never publicly legalized." musings, Milton Cunningham was sud- “ It is true," said Elliot – My clerk denly appounced, and entered, afier an and myself were the only witnesses, absence of four years from his native aod the officiatiog minister is dead with country. There was an eager expres- out registeriug tho fact—but I possess a sion of enquiry in his countenance, precognition--a coutract sufficient in all! which the Sheriff understood more fully its forms.”—Milton seized it with flash. tban be could answer, for he was un ing eyes, and read the whole eagerlycertain whether Milton had yet to learn " Is there no public record : - no other that his father was dead insolvent, and proof?"-" Nope," returned Elliot, his mother a disgraced fugitive." | chilled by the joy he betrayed —" unknow all,” said Millon, imagining that less this can be justified, your cousia he interpreted all his friend's embarrass. is your uncle's heiress.”_There pement- but the letter!-bave you pre- rishes the obstacle then !” said Milton, served the letter ?”—The Sheriff an- throwing it into the fire" she will be swered by taking it from its reposi- indemnited fourfold for the lost note, tory :-" Break the seal,” added his and my father's name will be saved !", visitor in a faltering voice-" the time - The Sherifflaid bis hand on Milton's is come.” Elliot instantly obeyed, and head with an involuntary gesture of saw a promissory note of ancient date' benediction-" You have atoned nofor three thousand pounds, with these bly:—but you shall not be disiuherited, words in the envelope :
I am the purchaser of Blackire's estate, " The guardian of an orphan neice and that it may satisfy every claim found this noie, executed by himself to of honour and justice, it is your's. her father, in her possession. His affairs. May bis fate be a powerful example!! were involved - bis exigencies pressing; He was once a proud an honest man, she was under his roof, and in his power yet he became an attester of falsehoods, -he estorted it from her, but an uno, a ruffian, and a robber, to enrich a rapaexpecled witness interrupted him, and cious courlezan and a stranger's son secured it. An honest and powerful .......I am your father!”. V. advocale might give her redress-a son caogot.” The Sheriff, raising his eyes from this
To the Editor of the European Magazine. stalement, fixed them sted fastly on Mil. ton, and saw its truth in the noble agony he other day, on promiscuously his countenance expressed. " Speak, opening a volume of your Magasir, I beseech you," he said, after a long zine for February 1817 (page 124), I pause" speak to me as a lawyer, not as met with a letter of “ Tbos. Hoppa friend, and let me hear the worst. I kyns's," on Mr. Kean's new reading base sinned, I know-and have beg. of this line from Macboth, gared the owner of this note, perbaps,
“ Hang out our banners on the outward by concealing, it--but my father!"
walls.'' She stopped, and burst into tears. The Sheriff replied with moist eyes. So it is in Manley Wood's edition, and
As a lawyer, I must tell you, the pot as Mr. H. has extracted it into his slalule of Limitations has invalidated article. This communication is, Sir, I this gole; and even if its date was less admit, rather antiquated in point of fenole, it could give no claim on your time, but to that same principle or late father's real estate, which has been privilege which induced your noiice of surrendered to satisfy special debts. Mr. H. I appeal.—Mr. A. has rum. In law, therefore, the purchaser of bis inaged up grist for his humour, and I laud cannot be charged with this, and hope I may be indulged in a sbort the unfortunate creditor will find re- paragraph to show it false. He perdress difficult : but as a friend I may tinaciously insists, that the text of the add, that there are other chances. bard is mere jargon, and I as perYour father's uncle died last night un• tioaciously iosist it is perfect sensefarried and intestato-his personal pro. say, that if the word
"out" were perty is ainple, and to that, at least, omilled (as he would have), I say the
line would be incorrect; and I con scem so without reason, or probable sider Mr. H.'s emendation a mere cause, I propose to put my subject to the
fight of fancy." He seems to think, test by a two-fold thesis--- First, By supthat if the banners were bung on the posing a spectator to inquire of himself, outward walls, ex necessitate they would after witnessing these exhibitions, whebe hung on the outer side ; but that no ther he would be sure of the same pumore follows, than that Mr. H. in nishment if he so'offended ; and, 2dly, going to Hampstead, would, by the (putting aside the uncertainty of the same necessity, be obliged to go through law), Whether these exhibitions awaken Tottenham-court-road. The sense, Sir, the spectators to any sense or feeling of in the original reading, is, that the ban- moral, religious, or civil duty. Now, ners should be exhibited; and to be so, sir, as to ihe first test, the notorious Macbeth required them to be bung with. forbearance of the injured to prosecute out the outer walls. The expression is the reluctance of juries to find a capia an exactness of speech, and, instead of tal offence-and, finally, the frequent being a fault, is a beauty much to be mitigations of punishments, are circumadınired. If the language were-"Hang stances separately moving every iniquithe banners on the outward walls,” the tous person, old and young, promptly direction would be without the excel and decidedly to answer in the negative, lent minutiæ it now possesses, and then and each oncibiuks himself without the it would be quibbled with for not ex• probability of sharing the same praishpressing the position,
ment for his offences; and of all the Sir,
impressions that these spectacles make, Your's, &c.
I venture to say, example is the least : 24th Feb. 1818. A GENTLEMAN. nay, that such a thought is so distant,
that the fate of the culprit is not
ascribed to legal punishment, but is ON PUBLIC PUNISHMENT.
adjudged the issue of bad luck,” or To the Editor of the European Magazine. " bad management of his matters,"
and from which scene the spectator VERY enlightened character (Sir returns una wed, and uncov vinced of the before the lic some excellent re- , is transgressions. Whence, then, it marks, in a pampblet entitled . Obser.. may be inquired, is the good of this vations on the Criminal Law of Eng- exposure, considered as example land as it relates to Capital Punish. On the second branch of my subject ments, and on the Mode in which it l: am equally fearful a most uneqaiis administered,” designedly to shew vocal negative may be given in answer. how often justice passes unheeded from I never have bad resolution to wita unwise classification of punishments to ness one of these appalling spectacles : offences. The pamphlet I presume to but I dare affirm, that were any of the have been universally read, so I refer to spectators to be asked their thoughts” it; by the title only. Now, Sir, it bas on the scene they had witnessed, the often occurred to my mind question answer would import “ obdurate gratiable-whether public and formal execu... fication," and unasked would follow a tions of culprits is of benefit or prejudice narrative of the culprit's hardihood in to the community. That public good "giving" up the ghost. To these conwas intended is beyond a doubt; but clusions I cannot think it at all neceshow far the desigo is effected at this sary any of us should be eye-witnesses day, is, I think, a question, and one the accounts of the demeanour of the of vital importance; and the more so, spectators at these scenes, so repeatedly from the known laxity of our criminal · given, and the last week's papers alone, law, or perhaps the observance of it; speak volumes in proof of absent feelbut either way it is of the same con ings and pity in the spectators : for in scquence. Public exposition of punish the latter pages it was said, the populace nient ! take to have been once coo- gazed upon a speciacle korrible-most sidered to operate on the spectators as horrible-without betraying the slightair example or threat in terrorem, and cst sensation of sympathy or pity: per the force of that example a check to and as a further fact in proof that olhers against the perpetration of crime. example is dindained, I have myself But, Sir, of this effcct I at this time ain a parlial instance; for on one of these very, suspicious; and that I may not, ill fated moruings, I chanced to cross