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the conversation was thus resumed with Mr. / world think of the geniuses who have been among Howitt:
them. Mr. Howitt saw next day all that was to Publisher.-—Well, you authors regard yourselves as be seen at and about Altrive, and listened to opithe salt of the earth. It is you who are the great men of nions of “the Shepherd,” which, to say the the world ; you move society and propel civilization. We least, were very natural in the quarter in which publishers are but good pudding-caters and paymasters to
they originated, and would not be altogether un“Myself.— True enough ; but you think that you are just anywhere :the master manufacturers, and we authors the poor devil
“An old farmer and his wife in the neighbourhood, artizans who really have no right to more than artizan who seemed the last people in the world to admire poets wages. **Publisher.—“Ay, if you will take them as wages, and blamed logg extremely for taking Mount Benger., lle
or poetry, though very worthy people in their way, often before they are carned. Grant that you are the salt
was more fitted for books than for farming,' said they. of the earth ; unethinks the salt has wonderfully lost its Perhaps, ' I observed," he did not find that little farm savour when it has to come with a manuscript in one hand, of Altrive enough to maintain him.' “Why should he and hold out the other for the instant pay, or the kettle
not ?' asked they. He had nothing to do there but cannot boil. See, there now is a man just gone that will look after his little flock ; that was all he had to care be a name these five hundred years hence; yet what does for; and that was the proper business of a man who he come to me for ? For a sovereign! I tell you can
called himself the Ettrick Shepherd; as though there didly, that if no hero can be a hero to his valet de chambre, neither can an author be a hero to his publisher, when he wanted more income, had not he his pen, and was not
was never a shepherd in Ettrick besides himself. And if ho comes in formu pauperis every day before him. For he very popular with the periodicals ? But he was always the life of me I cannot maintain an admiration of a man wanting to take great farms, without any money to stock when, like a rat, he is always nibbling at my purse-strings, them. He was hand and glove with great men in Edinand especially when I know-and what publisher does not burgh-Professor Wilson, and Scott, and the like ; he know it ?--that give the coin before the work is done,
was aye going to Abbotsford and Lord Napier's, and so and it never is done. I content myself with things as I he thought himself a very great man too, and Mrs. Hogy find them, and I leave all homage to the reader.'
thought herself a great woman, and looked down on her What author, with candour, will deny that the neighbours. These poets think nothing's good enough publisher, in the main, was in the right? But for them. Hogg paid the Duke no rent ; but he caught
his fish, and killed his game; he was a desperate association is to remedy all this. Now, we hum- fellow for fishing and shooting. If people did not bly think that effectual reform must begin, in do just what he wanted, he soon let them know his the first place, with individual reformation.
mind, and that without much ceremony.
He wrote To turn to lighter topics, Mr. Howitt, from a very abusive letter to Sir Walter Scott, because he some mistake in his geography or topography, and would not speak to him for months; and when he
would not give him a poem to print when he asked him, what between hunger and fatigue, was nearly took Mount Benger, he wrote to his generous friend Mr. wrecked on his weary way to the birth-place of Grieve, of Ettrick, and desired him to send him £350 llogg. He had imagined the distance from Mof- to stock the farm, which Mr. Grieve refused, because he fat to Ettrick Kirk about six miles, and behold knew that the scheme was a ruinous one ; on which he
wrote him a very abusive letter, and would not speak to it proved sixteen, while the heights of Bodsbeck, him for years. The upshot was, that he failed, and paid which divide Moffatdale from Ettrick, proved eighteenpence in the pound ; and yet the Duke, though something as formidable as the passes of the he got no rent, allows the widow the rental of Altrive. Alps, before they were smoothed by the engineer
“It is curious to hear the estimation that a man is
held in by his neighbours. ing genius of Napoleon. Those who know the mired by the more intellectual of his countrymen, is still,
Hogg, who is ad district will conclude that Mr. Howitt has either in the eyes of the now matter-of-fact sheep farmers of made the most of his adventure, or pity him as Ettrick and Yarrow, regarded only as an aspiring man, an Englishman, or half-cockney, bewildered in and bad farmer. They cannot comprehend why he should the bogs and hills, and left many more hours be so much more regarded than themselves, who are great without refreshment,” or a “summat,” than such up hard cash. Yet these men who pay eighteenpence in
at market, great on the hills, and pay every man, and lay delicate pedestrians are imagined to relish. The the pound have farms for nothing, and their families after fine and wild seenery about the head of “ Ettrick them, and associate with lords and dukes. That is very water," was altogether lost upon the exhausted odd, certainly.” traveller, and hunger had, for the time, banished There are many particulars given of Hogg's his poetry, or he must have felt the pathos of history, but none that can be new to Scottish, or the bleating lambs, just preparing to leave their to any curious readers; and for his real biography, dams and their native valley, for the cold, stern save as we have it from his own questionable world of St. Boswell's or Melrose Fair, and the narrative, that still remains to be written, and probutcher's knife. He who has written of the bably now for ever will. Altrive was the scene “ Seasons.” might have been aware that the de- or commencement of one of those episodes which, parture of the lambs is one of the most poetical as we have previously intimated, give an air of events of the pastoral year.
freshness to the narrative of our author's vanThe lions of the place, so far as Hogg is con- derings, and for this reason we quote the passage cerned, were visited and discussed ; and then the in preference to much eloquent criticism, and intelligent and hospitable schoolmaster gave the literary disquisition of more ambitious chaliterary traveller a three miles, or Scotch convoy, racter :to the long-sought inn of Tushielaw.
“ In many of my visits to the homes and baunts of the Here, and in other places, Mr. Howitt falls poets, I have fallen in with persons and things which I reinto, perhaps, unavoidable blunders and mistakes; gret that I could not legitimately introduce, and which but they are of little consequence; while it is of Exactly such a person did I meet with at Altrive Lake,
yet are so full of life that they deserve to be preserved. the last to learn what the folks of the work-a-day at Mr. Scott's, the successor of Hogg. It was a jolly
rool-bufer. He was a stout, fine, jovial-looking man— 1 spend much time over these little lots ;' and away we one of that class who seem to go through the world see- went. At one house, no sooner did he enter than out. ing only the genial side of it, and drawing all the good came a bonny lass with a glass and the whisky bottle, out of it, as naturally as the sun draws out of the earth and most earnestly and respectfully pressing that I should flowers and fruit. The hearty fellow was sitting at lun- take a glass. What could the bonny girl mean by being cheon with Vír. Scott as I went in, and I was requested so urgent that I should take some of her whisky ?' * Oh, to join them. His large, well-fed person, and large, said he, laughing heartily, it was because I told her handsome face, seemed actually to glow and radiate with that ye were a Free Church minister frae London, and the fulness of this world's joyousness and prosperity. they're mighty zealous Free Church folk here.' His head of rich, bushy, black hair, and his smooth Well, there mect the Ettrick and Yarrow, and beblack suit, both cut in town fashion, marked him as be- come the Tweed ; and the meadow between is no other longing to a more thronged and bustling region than than that of Carterhaugh ; you've heard of it in the old those tawny, treeless, solitary hills. The moment I men- ballads." tioned logg, and my object in visiting Altrive and Ertrick, the stranger's countenance lit up with a thorough
It would be pleasant to give the continuation; high-flowing tide of rosy animation. “Eh, but you should yet as we are not quite sure but that Mr. Howitt ha' had me in Ettrick wi' ye ! I know every inch of all has gone fully far enough in reporting confidences these hills and the country round. Haven't I bought implied, if not exacted, we must curb our vein, the wool all over this country these twenty years ? though we should be comparatively venial offenHogg! Why, Sir, I've bought his wool many a time, ders in following his seductive example.
One and had many a merry
“ clash" and glass of toddy wi' him at this verra table.' Nothing would do but I must certainly does like to hear some ings one would accept half his gig thence to Galashieis that evening, dislike exceedingly to be the first to tell; but, fora distance of twenty miles. It was a very friendly offer, tunately, there are good-natured persons less for it saved me much time. Our drive was a charming scrupulous. one, and my stout friend knowing all the country, and apparently everybody in it, he pointed out everything, be let slip, occurs in the Memoir of Mrs. Hemans,
Another instance of this sort, which must not and had a nod, a smile, a passing word for every gue that we met or passed in their cottages by the road whose temporary “ Home," the Dove's Nest, deside. He pointed out the piece of a wall, the only re- lightfully situated near Windermere, was visited mains of Hogg's old house at Mount Banger, adding by our author, and · Ay, I bought his wool.' We descended the Vale of Yarrow, passing through the beautiful woods of Hung- “Consists of but four rooms in front ; two little sitting ingehuw. Ye'll remember,' said he what was said by rooms, and two bedrooms over them. It is a little wbite some English noblemen in the rising in '45, when they battlemented affair, with a glass door. The woman of heard that the lairds of Ilangingshaw and Galashiels the house pointed out to me the chamber, that on the were among the Scotch conspirators. “ These are right hand as you face the house, at which Mrs. Hemans, ominous names,” said they, “we'll have nothing to do she said, used to write, and which commands a fine view with 'em ;' and withdrew, and thereby saved their own of the lake and its encircling hills. The woman is a renecks.' So we went on, every few hundred yards bring- gular character. She was very violent against steam, ing new histories of my jolly friend's wool-buying, and of railreads, and all sorts of new-fangled things. She wonmatters which seemed nearly as important in his eyes, dered what Parliament was about that they did not stop There was Newark tower, a beautiful object, standing on a
the steam. • What are your Sir Robert Peels, your Lofty green mound on the other side of the Yarrow, the Grahams, and your Stanleys, good for, if they cannot stop lanks of which are most beautifully wooded. The tower, the steam? She would make them sit, if she could have indeed, is included in the pleasure-grounds of Bowhill, her way, till they did some good ; for they had done none å seat of the Duke of Buccleuch's, within sight ; and yet. She almost preferred O'Connell to them; for he you see neat walks running all along the river side for did get master of the queen. iniles, amid the hanging woods, and looking most tempt- " You seem to be a great Radical,' I said. ing. Opposite to Newark, my friend pointed out a farm- "Nay, nay !' she replied ; • I'm naw Radical. I bouse. Do you know what that is ?' • A farın-house,' stick fast to the Church ; but I am a great politic! And I replied. Ay, but what farm-house--that's the thing? what will all those navvies do when the railways are all Why, Sir, that's the house where Mungo Park lived, and made? What is to become of the poor boatman when where his brother now lives.'”
there are nothing but steamers ?' Sometimes we are tempted to fancy that this
"Well, but has not Mr. Wordsworth written against
the railroads ?' “jolly wool-dealer," who must be instantly re
“ • Ay, he may write ; but there's more nor Mister cognised in his own locality, occasionally quizzed Wordsworth, now-a-days. People are got too clever now; his literary coinpanion.
and if he writes there's twenty ready to write against
him.'” “Do you see the meadow there below us, lying between those two streams,” said the “jolly And again Mr. Howitt wakens his doleful dirge wool-buyer," and the father of Shakspeare might over the miseries of poets" of the old melanhave been such a one. “ Yes,” replied his agree-choly story of genius fighting for the world, able companion in a Galashiels gig :
and borne down by the world, which should be
its friend." “* I buy all the wool of that farm. I have no doubt if the jolly fellow had fallen in with the fairies on Carter
" Once more, and for the ten thousandth time under laugh, he would have tried to buy their wool.
such circumstances, we must exclaim with Shakspeare"Ever and anon, out of the gig he sprung, and bolted
**0, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! into a house. Here there was a sudden burst of excla- We have here the bright, warm-hearted, fascinating girl mnations, a violent shaking of hands. Out he came again, of Bronwylta, full of all the romance of life and the gloriand a whole troop of people after him. “Well, but Mr. ous visions of poetry, now sinking the martyr of the
-, don't you take my wool this time!' . Oh, why heart betrayed in its tenderest trust, doomed to labour not what is it? what weight? what do you want ? like Pegasus in the peasant's cart and harness, perishing
It is so-and-so, and I want so much for it." Oh, fie, of exhaustion, and feeling that the unequal contest of Lan! I'll gie ye so much.' • That's too little.' life had yet left undeveloped the full aftluence of the Well, that's what I'll gie; ye can send it if ye like the spirit. I could not avoid gazing again on the empty price;' and away we brushed. The man, all life and alcove, the beautiful prospect, and the wildly growing jallity, giving me a poke in the side with his elbow, and white rose, and feeling the full contagion of their and the a knowing look, with He'll send it. It wont do to good woman's melancholy,
"But at once, out broke the strange creature with a one is tempted to laugh either at the bare-faced different look and tone — And we have now got another dissimulation of Scott, or the simplieity and writer lady down at Ambleside.' " " A poet?'
credulity of Southey, as he who fooled him so *** Nay, nothing of the sort ; another guess sort of egregiously must have done--but only in his person, I can tell you.'
sleeve. The short story is this :-Scott, in agony "Why, who is that ?'
and horror at the idea of being himself disgraced, ***Who is that? why, Miss Martineau they call her. They tell me she wrote up the Reform Bill for Lord degraded, and made ridiculous, as he thought, Brougham, and that she's come from the Lambtons here; by the ignominy of receiving the Laurel, and imaand that she's writing now about the taxes. Can she gining that his literary reputation would be for stop the stream, eh? can she, think you ? Nay, nay, I ever damaged, if not blasted, and, on 'the other warrant, big and strong as she is. Ha! ha! good lauk! hand, mortally afraid of offending the royal as I met her the other day walking along the muddy road below here-Is it a woman, or a man, or what sort of patron who graciously intended him this márk anim alis it ? said I to myself. There she came, stride, of distinction and bounty, contrived to foist the stride-great heavy shoes-stout leather leggings on- dreaded honour upon Southey, his "dear friend, and a knapsack on her back! Ha! ha! that's a politi- This piece of genuine life would have made a that she can stop 'steam? But I said to my husband rich scene in a comedy by Sheridan. It requires -Goodness! but that would have been a wife for you.
no touch of embellishment or exaggeration. Mr. Why, she'd a ploughed ! and they say she mows her own
Howitt becomes dramatic, and almost facetious, grass, and digs her own cabbage and potatoes! Ha! ha! upon this famous illustration of the nature of well, we see some queer 'uns here. Wordsworth should literary friendships. Southey had his own write a poem on her. What was Peter Bell to a comi- faults; and Mr. Howitt conceives it his bounden calist ?" The good woman laughed outrageously at the images she had raised in her own mind; and infected by duty to point them out. The Laureate could her mirth, as I had been by her melancholy, I bade her call men as honest and enlightened as him good bye." ;
self very hard names, and openly cherished the Mr. Howitt," also, saw in Dublin the lodging most bitter animosity against those who presumed where Mrs. Hemans spent her last days ; but this to remain stedfast in the principles from which Memoir, like so many more, contains little or he had swerved so widely ; but his nature was too nothing that has not appeared in previous bio-essentially upright to have allowed him to betray graphies, except the warm expression of the (sa dear friend” and's elder brother in the writer's homage and admiration. Yet how use Muses," rather than incur 'the possible risk of ful and pleasant to have so many scattered rays losing one gleam of court favour ;-the favour of drawn into one focus ! '.
the Regent-afterwards George IV. Considerable space is allotted to Sir Walter We regret to learn that some parts of the MeScott; and of Campbell we learn the strange and moir of Southey have given offence, where Mr. solitary new fact, that in Glasgow, where the Howitt could, we are certain, least have intended poet has many surviving friends and relatives, no offence. As his recommendation is, however, not one can now point out the house in which he was in the least likely to promote Mrs. Southey's born!
chance for a pension, there might have been more Mr. Howitt is not sparing of censuro of Sou- delicacy in avoiding that subject altogether. Of they's defalcation from his original political creed; Sonthey's errors he was constrained to speak. and for this he is justified, not by the Laureate's Mr. Howitt has conceived a fanciful theory to total change of opinion, unhappy as that might account for what is peculiar in the poetry of be, but by the keenness, the bitterness, and even Wordsworth, which he terms a system of " poetimalignity, of his feelings, towards those who, in cal quakerism,” affirming that George Fox, had an honest heart, cherished and avowed the senti- the gods made him poetical, would have written ments of which he once had been the fearless just such verses as the Bard of Rydal Mount. champion and promulgator. It is just probable We opine that they would have much more re: that the Messrs. Longman's shelves testify to the sembled the verses of John Bunyan. No doubt justice of Mr. Howitt's criticism of Southey's much of the poetry of Wordsworth is the poetry poetry, or, at least, of his long poems. They of contemplation-of quietism, if not of tranwant the ethereal essence—the master-touch; and scendentalism--though we cannot imagine that beautiful fancy and copious invention will never he caught his inspiration from the Quaker sapply the want of soul and sentiment; the theology. Differing widely as he does, and, from something truthful and spiritual, also is missed by the constitution of the whole man,
mental the readers, for the second time, of “ Thalaba” and physical, must have done, from Burns-and the “Curse of Kehama."
the object, nevertheless, from early life of his ferThe biography of Sir Walter Scott is abun- vent admiration—it was from the peasant-poet, dantly eulogistic ; but in the Life, or “ Homes the man of burning passions and headlong imand Haunts” of Southey, the personal character pulse, who, by the intuitions of untaught genius, of the baronet appears in a different light, and threw himself daringly and unreservedly upon one which will not permit the English reader to the bosom of Nature and Truth, in their lowliest forget that Scott was not only a sagacious “ Nor- and yet most holy and beautiful manifestations, lan,” but had been a lawyer in his youth, and that Wordsworth, as we think, first caught the what he in his Scottish characters would call idea of that theory of poetry which he has inge“ an auld sneck-drawer.” It is altogether too niously promulgated in his prefaces, however imbad, and yet so perverse is human nature, that perfectly it may be developed in lyrics, which
emanato rather from a brooding, contemplative many of them as individuals were very amiable people.' mind, than from the impassioned heart, and wild This was a little too much for him. The latent fire of the impulses of genius.
Corn-Law Rhymer blazed up; he started from his chair, Mr. Howitt's speculation is, however, curious ; claimed, Amiable men! amiable robbers! thieves ! and
and pacing to and fro with his hands at his back, exand, if well-founded, proves that there can now be murderers! Sir, I do not like to hear thieves, robbers, very little genuine Quakerism left among the and murderers called amiable men. Amiable men indeed ? settled-dowa, instead of the “ centred-down,” de- Who are they that have ruined trade, made bread dear, scendants of Fox and Naylor. If there were, crimes of ignorance and misery? Sir, I do not like to
made murder wholesale, put poverty into prison, and made half the business of Mark Lane must either change hear such terms used for such men! I laughed, and hands or stand still.
said, 'Well, Mr. Elliott, you and I shall certainly not We should have been delighted to indicate the quarrel about any such people ; and I ought not to sit " Homes? of Cowper, often as they have been talking thus as a perfect stranger--it creates a false posi
tion and false conclusions,' I then mentioned my name. described ; of Moore, of Leigh Hunt, the venera
He sprang across the room, caught hold of my offered ble Montgomery, and many others; but Ebene- hand with both his, gave it a great shake, and then hastzer Elliott, the Corn-Law Rhymer, it would be ened out to call Mrs. Elliot. Very soon Mrs. Elliot and sinful to pass altogether unnoticed, since his life a daughter appeared, and we were speedily afloat on an teaches lessons as noble as those of his verse, the dialogue of that one afternoon, in all its freedom of
ocean of talk.
Were I at liberty to pen down and is itself an antidote to half “ the calamities of remark, it would make the brightest but most startling authors.'
chapter of these volumes. But that cannot be, and I A good many years since, Tait's Magazine must add nothing more to this article than simply to say, contained an account of this remarkable, this that in a strange place I should nover have recognised
Ebenezer Elliott by his portrait. There is no good one of truly great man, many of whose finest lyrical him. He is somewhat above the middle height. He is compositions have adorned its pages. But Elliott sixty-five, but not old looking for his years. His hair is is a man of progress; a sleepless soul." Yet no white, and his manner and tone, except when excited by dreamer, no weakling, he, succumbing under the those topics that rouse his indignation against cruelty and “calamities of authors,” and grievously in want of oppression, mild, soft, and full of feeling. Perhaps no
man's spirit and presence are so entirely the spirit and a pension or a patron, sustains his life and his
presence of his poetry.” fortitude under the adversity which almost uni- Of Professor Wilson we have a very meagre Fersally, according to Mr. Howitt, overwhelms notice; or, rather, a few complimentary sengenius, Elliott maintained with life and its com
tences, and a selection of the absurd or exaggermon ills, a long and an arduous, but a manful ated stories, which are current rogarding his alstruggle. But no one ever heard him rave about
leged eccentricities. The following anecdote, the world's neglect, or the hard lot of genius though not more ridiculous than a hundrød others doomed to poverty. He came to Sheffield with of the sort, is new to us, or else forgotten, though a wife and children, poor as ever working-man Mr. Howitt must have found it somewhere ; not can be a harder conflict few men or poets have that he is very particular about his authorities had, but he choso to help himself, and came off when a good story might be lost.":"\ vietorious, nay triumphant, After visiting several of the haunts of Elliot excursion of this kind, nobody knowing whither he had
“It is also said, that, quite as a youth, he made an around Sheffield, he is traced to the final resting- vanished, till a Paisley man, happening to enter an inn place of his brave and useful life, near Darfield, at Conway, to his amazement saw him acting as a waiter not far off the Railroad between Rotherham and there. Information was immediately sent to his father, Wakefield, and just beyond the village of Great it is said, who hastened into Wales, and surprised John
by his presence, requesting him to return forthwith home! Houghton, an antique farming hamlet.
But here the Boniface interfered, declaring that he could
not part on any terms with his waiter, for such a waiter 'Elliott's house, which he has built, is a good stone house in the style of the country, with a fag roof, and is he never had in his house in his life.' So active, so ex
pert, so full of wit and good humour, that every one of fit for gentleman or farmer. It occupies the top of a
his guests was charmed with him. In short, he was the hill on the edge of a common. It has a good garden lying making of the house, and go he should not. It was only round it ; the views from it are fine and very extensive, when mine host was convinoed who and what the youth including distant towns and villages, and here and there
was, and that it was only a lark, that he gave way and 3 great mass of wood. There is a fine airiness about the
consented to his loss.” situation ; but the prospect of suitable society is not so easy to be perceived. One naturally connects the idea of It must have been delightful to have seen WiiEbenezer Elliott and the brisk movements of a populous son, with a cork-screw in his hand, and a napkin town; but he complains that the constant political excite
over his arm, calling out “ Anon, anon," to the ments of a town had wearied him, and gave too much thirsty customers, who could not but have liinterruption to his literary enjoyments. Here certainly be has withdrawn to complete leisure for books and the berally “tipped ” the adroit and facetious waiter. country; and yet, if he need the intercourse with towns, If this story be not quite correct, it is almost a the various rajlroads put half a dozen within the speediest pity that anything so good should not be true. access. He says that time, instead of hanging heavily, Dever went so fast with him. I found Ebenezer Elliot t the anecdotes of the amazement which the poets
Much in the same style, and almost as racy are standing at his porch, with his huge Newfoundland dog beside him. I merely introduced myself
as an admirer of excite by their habit of loudly chanting their halfbis poetry, who had a desire in passing to pay my respects composed rhymes, by way, it is presumed, of getto him. He gave me a very cordial welcome. We en- ting on, or keeping up the steam. Campbell, in tered his room, and were soon deep in conversation. And We were soon too high in conversation ; for our talk, early life, we have heard, but scarce vouch' for trongst other things, turning on a certain class of society, the fact, not only indulged in this sort of wild I happened to say that, spite of all their faults as a class, recitation, but swung the door of his room back
wards-not as a Franklin, but a lyrical bellows of print, paper, and decoration, “ The Homes and to the great alarm of his respective Edinburgh Haunts,” handsome, and even elegant externally, landladies, equally in terror for their lodger's wits and no flimsy modern tomes, are deserving of and the door hinges. For forty years, Wordsworth praise and patronage : Altogether, the work will has gone sounding on over the Cumberland hills be quoted and referred to with more interest a and dales, or under his own laurels; and even the hundred years hence, than at the present day. sober Southey's chant in his garden at Greta What would not one give for a similar work, by a Lodge, led a visiter of his next door neighbour to contemporary of Chaucer, or of the luminaries of inquire of his host, “ Have you got bitterns the Elizabethan era? Mr. Howitt, as their conhere?” “Oh! no bitterns: only Southey spout- temporary, has in many cases seen, with his own ing his verses.”
eyes, men only inferior to the very greatest of these. Our readers must perceive that the “Homes and There are several passages in the volumes Haunts” is one of Mr. Howitt's greatest literary which we have not noticed, but which Mr. Howitt efforts. We must not omit to state that in the should erase, if a second edition of his work be subordinate commercial view, merely as a bargain | required.
THE CAUSE AND CURE OF CRIME.
NINETY-SEVEN years ago the House of Com- | laws, but they were never of a large or generous mons began a reformation of the criminal laws ; character. His first effort went only to substibut the bill passed by that branch of the Legis- tute a record of the capital sentenee for those lature was rejected in the Peers, and the subject cases in which it could not be inflicted, in place was not reconsidered until more than half a cen- of the ordinary and solemn forms pursued. Then tury elapsed. The late Sir Samuel Romilly, in he carried a series of bills to consolidate the 1808, introduced and passed a bill to prevent the laws relating to capital punishments ; but, eren execution of pickpockets, who were convicted of while thus engaged, he mitigated the punishment success in their pursuits, on any single venture, itself in the most parsimonious manner. No to the value of five shillings. That gentleman, statesman could have dealt more tenderly by the during the next ten years, wrought incessantly to hangman. He doled out mitigations of the law soften the criminal law of England, which was with a stinted hand like a political miser parting then, and for many subsequent years, disgraceful with the highest gems of the constitution. In on to the country. In 1811 he succeeded in passing instance he raised the scale of capital punishment, bills to abolish capital punishments for three in stealing out of a dwelling-house, from 40s. to classes of offences. He was also enabled to carry 100s. The difference was that between a good a bill in 1812, by which soldiers and sailors might and a bad silver watch, although a thief was not beg on the streets, without incurring the risk of likely to weigh with a tradesman's eye the value of being hanged; for that was formerly the penalty the article which his fingers clutched. There wa incurred for street-begging in their case. Sir no probability whatever of the criminal stealing Samuel Romilly continued to press his amend- up to £4 19s. 6d. nett, and leaving any light and ments of the criminal law in each successive ses- portable article behind, that he might establish, sion without material success---for the Commons if arrested, a good defence against being hanged. passed measures apparently to give the Peers an The intention in all such cases is the same; the opportunity of rejecting them until 1818, when thief is there to take all that he can get ; he died, and his mantle descended on Sir James he seldom leaves a balance out of respect to Mackintosh. He commenced to take charge of those from whem he pilfers ; and Sir Robert these measures in 1819, and for eleven years Peel's improvement left hanging, not the punishoccupied the position vacated by Sir Samuel ment of demerit so much as of a fortunate Romilly's death. Although opposed by Lord run in a bad business. When he introduced Castlereagh and Sir Robert Peel, he was enabled his forgery bill in 1830, he was still faithful to the to reduce materially the number of red statutes gallows. Although he had, ere then, deserted in England's laws. In Castlereagh he found an Oxford and Lord Eldon, he continued to be true honest and most unflinching opponent, and a to Ketch. In the Commons the capital punishsteady consistent friend of the hangman; one who ment clauses were successfully opposed by Mr. resisted, by force and fraud, to the last, any in- Spring Rice--the present Lord Monteagle; but fringement, however slight, on the vested interest the Peers reinserted them, and the bill passed. of that class of public functionaries. Sir Robert Two years afterwards the Government carried Peel, even at that early period in his history, a measure for expunging these clauses, except in exhibited a disposition to comply with the rising two cases preserved by the Peers, faithful still spirit of the times. He was perfectly willing to in a year of faithlessness. In the same session, Mr. stand by the gallows while it was safe ; but he W. Ewart, who then represented Liverpool, and gave most unequivocal evidence of a determina- now represents Dumfries, introduced, and carried tion never to be a political martyr to the art of a most important bill for abolishing capital strangling. He has even, in recent years, frequently punishments in cases of sheep, cattle, and horse sought credit for his improvements of the penal stealing, and larceny in dwellings. The legis