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are empowered, with the consent of the investigate the charge, but a police accused parties, accused of any crime magistrate, and he, not necessarily a for which he may be tried by the lawyer or skilled in the law, is made Court of General Sessions of the Peace, judge of both Law and Fact. The to try such accused parties, and if anterior principle was that the judge found guilty by the police magistrate should decide the law and the jury they may be sentenced by him to the
pronounce on the fact. By this statsame punishment they would have ute a police magistrate is vested with been liable to if tried by the Gene- despotic power without appeal to try ral Sessions. As the General Ses- both law and fact, and on conviction sions of the Peace have jurisdiction sentence the prisoner in some cases to try most of the high crimes, ex- to imprisonment in the Penitentiary, cept capital felonies, forgery, libel, in others to years' imprisonment in perjury, it will be seen what immense the common jail. Despotic power power is here given to a sole occupant may well be wielded in uncivilized of a judicial bench, the police magis- countries--at Ujiji, in dark Africa, trate, he being entrusted with the at Unyanyembe, or on the banks of same power as a whole Court of Gene- the Nile. but ought not to exist in a ral Sessions of the Peace, composed free country. The law is founded on of an experienced judge, county at- the principle that accused parties torney, grand and petty jury. In may not wish to be under accueffect, the police magistrate has juris- sation for a period of time before diction to try offences, for which if they can be brought before the the prisoner be found guilty, he has regular tribunal for jury trial, and power to sentence him to be commit- therefore, may, with their own consent, ted to the Provincial Penitentiary or be tried by this one-man-power, a to the common jail for two years, in police magistrate. But when the the same manner as the General Ses- bailable nature of offences is consions might do after a conviction ob- sidered, and when it is further contained after full investigation of the sidered that the parties accused of facts by a grand jury and a petty jury crime brought before a police magisand the judicial mind of an experi. trate are in many cases half idiots, enced judge brought to bear on the mentally incapable, from drink question at issue between the Crown or nervous incapacity, to determine and the subject. Every conviction whether they desire to be tried by a under the Act, it is also declared, shall jury or not, with no counsel to advise bave the same effect as a conviction them, suddenly thrown on their own upon indictment for the same offence resources, how idle is it to say that would have had. As if to add a re- consent or non-consent should have finement of cruelty, it is enacted that weight in such cases ! And what is no conviction, sentence, or proceeding the delay in such cases to be compared under the Act shall be quashed for with the danger of absolute injustice want of form, and no warrant of com- being done when a prisoner is tried by mitment upon a conviction shall be a police magistrate who knows he is held void by reason of any defect there- acting without appeal, and determinin, if it be therein alleged that the of- ing the guilt or innocence of the fender has been convicted and there prisoner, when the evidence, if sifted be a good and valid conviction to sus- by competent counsel or an intelligent tain the same.
What a wide de- jury, might be the means of shewing parture is this from old established the party on trial an innocent man. law that any party accused should Not long since a deaf and dumb mute have the benefit of a trial by his peers ! was placed in a police court dock, Here neither a grand or petty jury charged with crime. He was asked
by his worship if he would be tried see how justice was administered. But by him or a jury? Being deaf and here the Interim Sessions is only a dumb, he stood dumb. He had no public court in name—more of a priv. counsel. A slate was produced and ate court in fact. The court, all told, the question asked. A policeman is generally composed of the Judge, and the magistrate thought the court the Crown Attorney, the Clerk, the had got his consent! The consent, Sheriff or his Deputy, the counsel for such as it was, placed him on trial, the prisoner (if he have one), and the and he was convicted by his worship prisoner in the dock ; the audience, and sent to prison. Of what value sometimes a couple or three small vas this kind of consent?
boys who drop in for curiosity. It This is only one of many instan- may be that justice may be well ces which might be cited in illustra- administered in such a court and by tion of this dangerous law. What such means, but most people consider are called Interim Sessions, trials by that an open court is one of the safea Judge of Sessions without a jury, is guards for the protection of the liberty something better than a trial by a of the subject. It is to be hoped that police magistrate. The Judge of our legislators will look to these matSessions must be a lawyer at all events ters, and that the whole law of consent -with experience in legal matters. trials by police magistrates, or at InBut even such trials are a wide depar- terim Sessions, will be reviewed and ture from what whilome was considered amended—that this · Bridge of Sighs' some security for the subject, namely, may be demolished, and more countethat he should have a public trial in nance given to the liberty of the suba public court, that the public might | ject, and trial by jury.
THE MONKS OF THELEMA.
BY WALTER BESANT AND JAMES RICE,
Authors of' Ready Money Mortiboy,'' The Golden Butterfly,' ' By Celia's Arbour,' ete., eti
idle. Tom went to town, in order to obtain what Desdemona called the most important of the properties--the special license. The clergyman was found in an old friend of Tom's, who consented, on learning the whole circumstances, to perform the ceremony. The plot was, in fact, completely worked out, and, as Desdemona said, nothing remained but to hope that the situations would go off without any hitch.
On Wednesday, things being in this forward state, Desdemona and Tom walked across the park to the game
keeper's cottage. It was empty, but Desdemona, gloomily. Crimes like the door stood open—a proof that the ours always do come out. I shall owner was not very
very likely reveal the secret on my two entered the little room with its death-bed. That will be a bad job for smoked and blackened rafters, which
Or else you will go mad with seemed dark after the blinding sun- the suspicion that I may some day tell, light, and sat down to await Harry's take me to a secret place in a forest, return.
push me down a deep well, and drop * This is like plunging into a cave big stones on my head. I shall creep to concert a robbery with a band of out when you are gone, nothing the brigands,' said Desdemona, taking worse except for a bump as big as a Harry's wooden arm-chair. “In fact, cricket-ball on my skull, and a broken I never felt so much like a conspirator leg; and I shall creep after you, taking before, not even on the stage. And revenge in separate lumps as the opas for the stage, the illusion is all in portunity offers. When I have got the front. Tom,' she resumed, all the revenge that a Christian woman after a pause, “I do not like it at wants, I shall disclose myself, and you all.'
will die-under the lime-light, repentNor do I,' Tom confessed.
ant, slowly, and to the music of the 'I can see you do not. “How in the stringed instruments.' looks doth conscious guilt appear.” If * Thank you,' said Tom. “Now, tell it were only not for Lord Alwyne and me, please, how we ought to put it to Miranda
ourselves. 'It does seem hard,' said Tom, that • Thus,' said the actress. • This exa fellow can't be allowed to make him- travagance of Alan affects others beself a fool in his own way.'
side himself. The result of the step • That is not the way to put it at all,' he proposes would be so disastrous said Desdemona, rousing herself for that at any cost it must be prevented. an apology. 'Let me put it so that He does not know the girl whom he we shall be able to comfort ourselves is going to marry ; he has conceived with noble motives. All wicked peo- an entirely wrong impression of her ple do that you know. Fancy the pious character. His father, my old friend rapture of Guy Fawkes just before he was going to light the match ; think And mine,' said Tom, feeling comof the approval which the conscience fort in that reflection. of Ravaillac must have bestowed upon · Will be deeply grateful to us. him on the king's coach coming in Miranda will be grateful. After a sight. Let us apply the same balms time, Alan will be grateful ;' and as to our own case. People may say- for the rest of the world, why-il y a people who don't understand motives-- des reproches qui louent.' that we two were Alan's most intimate • Yes--and Harry? Do you think and trusted friends, and that, notwith- he will be grateful after a time, too?' standing, we deliberately conspired to- asked Tom. “You see, Desdemona, gether to frustrate his most cherished your estimate of the young lady's charproject.'
acter is not a high one.' I think, Desdemona,' said Tom, • Grateful? Well, in a way.
The that you must have learned the art man's in love with her.
He does not, of comforting a sinner from the Book in his heart, believe that she is a bit of Job. To be sure, people may say better than the majority of women in that; but you forget that we haven't her class. But just now it is good for been found out yet. And Harry won't him to think so. Depend upon it, tell'
Tom, it is not a bad thing for a man It will come out some day,' said to find out that his wife is no better
1 You are
a human creature than himself, probably not so good.'
• Desdemona,' said Tom, don't be hard on your sex.'
'I am not,' she replied ; 'I am only .just. Do you think Nelly an angel ?'
Yes,' he said stoutly, 'I do, and I don't want any other kind of angel. People my paradise with one angel, and let her be Nelly, with all her moods and wilfulness, just as she is, I shall be satisfied.'
You are a good fellow, Tom, and you deserve her. Pity that, while you were about it, you could not have made that little document in your pocket a transferable ticket. We might then, at the very last moment, change the names from Harry and Alma to Tom and Nell.'
He shook his head sadly.
• The good old days !' she lamented. Oh for a postchaise and four, and Gretna Green ! or for a Fleet parson ! What opportunities our ancestors had!!
• You can get a special license now,' said Tom, 'costs five guineas—that is what I've got for Harry.' 'It is the one thing they have left
Then, Tom, if you do not immediately—but here comes the third conspirator.'
Tom explained to Harry that he had gone to London in order to obtain, through certain legal persons, a document which made it possible for him and Alma to get married to each other. And then he handed him the precious epistle.
"And with this bit o' paper,' said Harry, doubtfully, it is lawful for Alma and me to marry ?'
He turned it all ways to catch the light, and blushed to think of the solicitude of the greatest persons in the realms after his welfare.
“And now,' said Desdemona, 'when shall we marry them ?'
* The sooner the better,' said Harry. If there's going to be words, best have them over.
He was thinking of Bostock, but it
seemed almost as if he was thinking of future matrimonial jars.
• We might manage on Friday,' said Tom. 'I am afraid it is too late to arrange for to-morrow. My friend the curate will do it on any day. After the marriage you can drive to Dalmeny Hall, and then send for Mr. Dunlop and have it out.
You can tackle the Bailiff afterwards.'
Ay,' said Harry; I'm not afeard of the Bailiff. There'll be a vast deal of swearing, and that's all. Bailiff Bostock knows me. It is the Squire I am afeard on.
He'll take it hard : me an old servant, and—there_once almost a friend I was, when we were both boys.'
a friend of his still, Harry,' said Tom. When he understands that it was your own bride he was going to take, it will all come right. But perhaps just at first there may be some sort of shindy.'
' It cannot be on Friday,' said Desdemona. 'I remember now that Alma's wedding-dress is not to be ready till Friday afternoon. The poor girl must wear her fine frock, if only for once.
You must arrange, Tom, to get the ceremony over and to drive back to the Hall before they ought to be starting for church. That, I think, will be the most effective as well as the most considerate way of leading up to the situation. It is not bad, as dramas go.' She sprang from her chair, alert and active, and became again an actress. A rehearsal. Stand there, Harry, as far back as the footlights—I mean the fender—will allow. Miranda and I are grouped here in an attitude of sympathetic expectation.' (Here her face suddenly assumed a look of such deep sympathy that Tom burst out laughing, and Harry was confounded.)
'Alan is in the centre, up the stage ; on your arm, Harry, is Alma.' voluntarily glanced at his manly arm, as if Alma might really, by some magic of this wonderful lady, be there, but she was not.) “She is in her beau
tiful wedding frock and bonnet; she 'we are preparing the last scene of a is looking shy and a little frightened, comedy which will be numerously atbut so pretty that she has engaged the tended, and keenly criticised, so to sympathies of the whole house. Alan, speak; we must not spoil it by caretaken by surprise, takes a half-step lessness in the final tableau. We must forward; Miranda and I, surprised make all we can out of it. As for and wondering, take a half-step nearer you, Harry, you will be a hero for a him; we murmur our astonishment; few days. And you, Tom, must make Miranda, who is statuesque, and there- up your mind to criticism. Play fore does not gesticulate, turns her your part boldly. Make your mark eyes mutely upon Alma; I, who am, in the last act. In the evening there or was thirty years ago, mignonne, will be a grand Function in the Abhold up my hands--it is a very ef- bey, at which you, too, ought to be a fective gesture, if done naturally; and
hero. then, Tom (I am afraid I'must put And the row with Bostock ?' you in the last scene, and concealment asked Harry, who believed that this will be impossible), you step forward- lady was able to control the future oh, Tom !' (here she betrayed a little exactly ; 'has your ladyship fixed irritation because Tom, instead of when and where that is to come off?" throwing himself into the situation, No; in fact, I quite forgot that was actually grinning), why can't detail. But it does not matter so you act a little? You step forward much, as it will not probably get into easily and quietly--you make a point, the papers. A mere piece of by-play, because your knowledge is the key of an episode. It ought, perhaps, to the whole situation—and you say,
tak- come before the last șituation ; but, ing Alma by the hand, “ Alan, let me after all, it does not greatly signify. present to you-Harry Cardew's I suppose the farmer is certain to use wife !” Now, that is really a very language of the strongest. telling situation, if you could only After all --saving your ladyship's. think of it.'
presence --what,' asked Harry, 'what I did not think of the situation,' matters a few damns ?' said Tom.
Nothing,' said Desdemona, quoting 'No, you silly boy, you did not.' Bob Acres. • They have had their Desdemona sat down again, and put day. And now, Harry, take great care off the actress. "If people would only of the document. We shall tell Alma. think of the situation, and how it —not to-morrow, but on Friday. Perwould look on the stage, none of the haps a hint to-morrow will keep up. silly things, and only the picturesquely her spirits.' wicked things, would be done. the world's a stage.” Yes; and there 'He is much too good for her,' said is always an audience. And none of Desdemona; 'but I am in hopes it us ever play our little part without will turn out well. There is one great some to applaud or some to hiss. They point in favour of their happiness.” are a sympathetic audience, and they • What is that?' express their feelings vigorously. Dear . She is afraid of him,' said Desdeme! he does not think of the situation. mona, student of womankind. "A Live, Harry Cardew, as if you were wholesome terror of her husband, with always on the boards-walk, talk, such a girl, goes a long way. She think, as if you were speaking before will feel that she has got a man to the the tre. Do you understand ?' rule her.'
The honest gamekeeper did not. He At the Abbey they found that Lord had never seen a theatre.
Alwyne had arrived. He was, in fact, However,' continued Desdemona, sitting with a bevy of Sisters. Noth