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" As for the first, it is well observed by Phædrus, an heathen poet ;
Nisi utile est quod facimus, frustra est gloria. Which is the same, ladies, as if I should say, it would be of no reputation for me to be president of a court which is of no benefit to the public. Now the advantages that may arise to the weal-public from this institution will more plainly appear, if we consider what it suffers for the want of it. Are not our streets daily filled with wild pieces of justice, and random penalties ? Are not crimes undeterînined, and reparations disproportioned ? How often have we seen the lie punished by death, and the liar himself deciding his own cause!
nay, not only acting the judge, but the executioner! Have we not known a box on the ear more severely accounted for than manslaughter? In these extra-judicial proceedings of mankind, an unmannerly jest is frequently as capital as a premeditated murder.
“But the most pernicious circumstance in this case is, that the man who suffers the injury must put himself upon the same foot of danger with him ihat gave it, before he can have his just revenge; so that the punishment is altogether accidental, and
may fall as well upon the innocent as the guilty.
" I shall only mention a case which happens frequently among the more polite nations of the world, and which I the rather mention, because both sexes are concerned in it, and which therefore you gentlemen, and you ladies of the jury, will the rather take notice of; I mean, that great and known case of cuckoldom. Supposing the person who has suffered ipsuits in his dearer and better half; supposing, I say, this person should resent the injuries done to his tender wife; what is the reparation he may expect? Why, to be used worse than his poor Jady, run through the body, and left breathless upon the bed of honour. What then, will you on my right-hand say, must the man do that is affronted? Must our sides be elbowed, our shins broken? Must the wall, or perhaps our mistress, be taken from us? May a man knit his forehead into a frowl}, toss up his arm, or pish at what we say, and must the villain live after it? Is there no redress for injured honour? Yes, gentlemen, that is the design of the judicature we have here established.
“ A court of conscience, we very well know, was first instituted for the determining of several points of property, that were too little and trivial for the cognizance of higher courts of justice. In the same manner, our court of bonour is appointed for the examination of several niceties and puncfilios, that do not pass for wrongs in the eye of our coinnion laws. But not withstanding no legislators of any nation have taken into consideration these little circumstances, they are such as often lead to crimes big enough for their inspection, though they come before them too late for their redress.
• Besides, I appeal to you, ladies, (here Mr. Bickerstaff turned to his left-hand) if these are not the little stings and thorns in life, that make it more uneasy than its most substantial evils ? Confess ingenuously, did you never lose a inorning's devotions because you could not offer them up from the highest place of the pew? Have you not been in pain, even at a ball, because another has been taken out to dance before you? Do you love any of your friends so much as those that are below you? Or, have you any favourites that walk on your right-hand ? You have answered me in your looks; I ask na more,
“ I come now to the second part of my discourse, which obliges me to address myself in particular to the respective members of the court, in which I shall be very brief.
“ As for you gentlemen and ladies, my assistants and grand juries, I have made choice of you on my right hand, because I know you very jealous of your honour; and you on my left, because I know you very much concerned for the reputation of others; for which reason I expect great exactness and impartiality in your verdicts and judgments.
“I must, in the next place, address myself to you, gentlemen of the counsel: you all know that I have not chosen you for your knowlege in the litigious parts of the law; but because you have all of you formerly fought duels, of which I have reason to think you have repented, as being now settled in the peaceable state of benchers. My advice to you is, only that in your pleadings you will be short and expressive. To which end, you are to banish out of your discourses all synonymous terms, and unnecessary multiplication of verbs and nouns. I do moreover forbid you the use of the words also and likewise ; and must further declare, that if I catch any one among you, upon any pretence whatsoever, using the particle or, I shall instantly order him to be stripped of his gown, and thrown over the bar. “ This is a true copy :
CHARLE'S LILLIE." N.B. The sequel of the proceedings of this day will be published on Tuesday next.
N° 254. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23,1710.
HOR. 2 Od. ij. 35.
From my own Apartment, November 22. There are no books which I more delight in than in travels, especially those that describe remote countries, and give the writer an opportunity of showing his parts without incurring any danger of being examined or contradicted. Among all the authors of this kind, our renowned countryman, Sir John Mandeville, has distinguished himself, by the copiousness of his invention, and the greatness of his genius. The second to Sir John I take to have been Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, a person of infinite adventure, and unbounded imagination. One reads the voyages of these two great wits, with as much astonishment as the travels of Ulysses in Homer, or of the Red-Cross Knight in Spenser. All is enchanted ground, and fairy-land.
I have got into my hands, by great chance, several manuscripts of these two eminent authors, which are filled with greater wonders than any of those they have communicated to the public ; and indeed, were they not so well attested, they would appear altogether improbable. I am apt to think the ingenious authors did not publish them with the rest of their works, lest they should pass for fictions and fables : a caution not unnecessary, when the reputation of their veracity was not yet established in
the world. But as this reason has now no further weight, I shall make the public a present of these curious pieces, at such times as I shall find myself unprovided with other subjects.
The present Paper I intend to fill with an extract from Sir John's Journal, in which that learned and worthy knight gives an account of the freezing and thawing of several short speeches, which he made in the territories of Nova Zemlla. I need not inform my reader, that the author of Hudibras alludes to this strange quality in that cold climate, when, speaking of abstracted notions cloathed in a visible shape, he adds that apt similè,
“ Like words congeal'd in northern air." Not to keep my reader any longer in suspense, the relation, put into modern language, is as fola lows :
“ We were separated by a storm in the latitude of seventy-three, insomuch, that only the ship which I was in, with a Dutch and French vessel, got
safe into a creek of Nova Zembla. We landed, in order to refit our vessels, and store ourselves with provisions. The crew of each vessel made themselves a cabbin of turf and wood, at some distance from each other, to fence themselves against the inclemencies of the weather, which was severe beyond imagination. We soon observed, that in talking to one another we lost several of our words, and could not hear one another at above two yards distance, and that too when we sat very near the fire. After much perplexity, I found that our words froze in the air, before they could reach the ears of the persons to whom they were spoken. I was soon confirmed in this conjecture, when, upon the increase of the cold, the whole company grew dumb, or rather deaf; for every man was sensible,