Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

hind me, for I cannot see you whilst I am lying thus-that will do, yet now I can scarcely see you-Perhaps it is that my eyes have become dim-come nearer to me, still nearer, and you Edwin-there now I feel you both-Mr. Pemberton, we must not forget God, it would be well for us all if we prayed."

"Can your hear what I am saying?-now, my sweet children, pray do not think that I am dying; I have often been worse than this-much worse before. I have many years to live, and we will be so happy at the Abbey, and Gerard shall live with us. Come hither, Gerard, and take Mary's hand-you love one another; love on, but be warned by my sad fate. Why do you weep, my children? Ye have come back to me after an absence of fifteen years, and why do you greet me with sobs? God, spare me yet a little while! I feel icy cold-and yet it cannot be death. Kiss me, mp children, all of ye, for perhaps I am dying after all. God is just; I deserve it to the full; be sure of that-I deserve it to the full. And yet it is something to have seen you to have blessed you-to have embraced you-to have felt your kisses on my lips-God! I am grateful for that; Thou art just and merciful, and thou art afraid that I shall sin again as I have sinned in my youth. My beloved ones, be warned-I am suffering for my iniquitiesLittle children, keep yourselves from idols.”


"And yet I am not dying-it cannot be that I am dying with my long-lost children in my arms. My miseries did not kill me; how then can I die of joy? Too much happiness kills Sweet Mary, kiss me again; I feel your cheek against mine; how soft it is! and now methinks I see you, for the film has passed away from my eyes, and yet I see you in the darkness — perhaps, it is not you, but your mother. My sweet children, you did not know your motheroh! you would have loved her so much-but it has pleased God to keep you from idols. Be sure that all He does is merciful - Gerard, be sure of that-if it pleases God to take me now, it is only an act of mercy-but, perhaps, He will spare me yet a little while. Now why are ye all weeping? I hear sounds as of many people weeping-I do not weep, but rejoice. Ha, ha! now laugh all of ye! for mercy's sake weep not aloud; I cannot bear to hear you sobbing. My children-my beautiful children, I have lands and houses, and money-be happy; I forgot it till now, and I scarce think that I can write. What does it matter? Love is everythinglove one another ; but hark ye, it is a good thing to love, but you must love God better than one another. I did not, and, therefore, I am dying-Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

He never more spake word-and Michael and Ella were fatherless.

We had intended to give several other extracts from Doveton, but we are obliged to abstain from indulging our inclination, in this respect, as we have already far exceeded the allotted space. We hope, however, that our selections will be held to amply sustain our praise of this very ingenious, and, in many respects, highly interesting production. We have stated our objection to the design of this work to be, that it almost necessarily involves a diminution of interest and sympathy, which it is the proper business of fictions which deal with human beings and the incidents of society to excite. The writer of such fictions, should feel it incumbent on him" to catch the living manners as they rise." It is right to remark, however, that the very conception of such a design is indicative of a superior and very imaginative mind. Of the manner in which Mr. Kaye has carried out that design, we have already stated our op nions. If, however, some of his characters are too transcendental, some are exceedingly natural, and several, as we happen to know, are drawn from real life. One feature of Mr. Kaye's writings which must insure for them and for him the respect of all good men, is the pure and elevated tone of morality which pervades every one of his productions, in prose or verse. There are in them no glowing and voluptuous descriptions to excite the passions, and secure success, at the sacrifice of principle. Though many of his scenes are, as we have said, highly wrought, and some of them overcharged, there are none which array vice in seductive colours, while, on the other hand, he frequently inculcates moral truths with the fervour of an enthusiastic moralist, and the eloquence of a man of genius.

Such are Mr. Kaye's claims to distinction as a writer. Of his qualities as a man we have already spoken in terms which are dictated by our judgment rather than by those feelings of esteem and regard, that we, in common with all who know him, cherish for this gentleman. His duty has called him to Arracan, whither he is gone to command the Artillery at Khyk Phoo, and whence, we trust, he will soon return in health to instruct and interest the public by his talents, and to gladden, with his society, the many friends who have witnessed



[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


No. IV.

Sir Edward Ryan.

Of all secular offices the judicial is the highest in dignity, importance, and solemn responsibility. In England, the independence of the judges is regarded as a sacred right, a constitutional privilege, and safe-guard which it would be sacrilege to trench upon; and accordingly the dignitaries of Westminsterhall have been created utterly independent of the Crown and its Ministers, and responsible only to the Houses of Parliament. In this country it necessarily happens, that both the Queen's and Company's judges are more dependent upon the ruling powers; yet, we trust, that India may never be doomed to see judicial dignity compromised, or the liberty of the subject invaded.

High and varied are the qualifications necessary to constitute a fitness for the performance of the judicial functions. The judge is called upon to elucidate the most intricate subtleties of law, to investigate, carefully and minutely, complex details of circumstances and events, to weigh conflicting testimony, to discriminate between the improbable truth and the plausible falsehood, the vrai and the vraisemblable:-upon his fiat may depend the rights and liberties, the property and the lives of his fellow-creatures. It is true that in England all questions of fact, whether in civil or criminal matters (and in this country in all criminal matters), are referred to the decision of a jury of twelve men; but it is well known to what extent the presiding judge can influence their verdict by a hint, and, in many cases, control it altogether by a simple expression of his opinion. We have frequently been amused to observe the eagerness with which the jurors turn round to listen to the judge when he commences summing up the evidence, and the glose attention with which they mark each expression. Bewildered by the counter-statements and flat contradictions of a host of witnesses, bamboozled by the learned sophistry of the advocates on either side, perplexed by their own vague and fluctuating impressions, the twelve worthy and honest occupants of the jury-box hail the address from the bench as the revelation of a superior being. They willingly place entire confidence in the opinion of one who can have no interest in wilfully misleading them, whose solemn office alone seems to guarantee his integrity, and whose varied and lengthened experience lends weight to his advice and suggestions, Whatever light appears to be thrown upon the case by the coruscations of the

We trust that Sir John Cam Hobhouse will yet entertain a similar opinion, or else that the

advocate's ingenuity, the jury are apt to mistrust, and to regard it as a will-o'the-wisp which threatens to lead them into the quagmires of doubt and uncertainty; while, on the other hand, every ray which emanates from the judge, is hailed as a safe and sure beacon-light! It is curious and interesting to observe, in how few brief and simple sentences an able and experienced judge will often unravel the most complex tissue of contradictions and discrepancies; separating the few grains of ore from the mountains of rubbish, demolishing the flimsy web which sophistry had artfully wove, furnishing a simple clue to the apparently inextricable labyrinth, and rendering clear and plain what had just before appeared to be involved in hopeless darkness and uncertainty.

The learned subject of this sketch, is well qualified, by natural endowments and acquired experience, to fulfil the duties of his high station. Sir Edward Ryan has presided as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of this presidency for above four years, having previously sat on the bench some seven years as Puisne Judge. We are not aware that his lordship was distinguished at the English bar by the oratorical qualities, which belong to the mere advocate; but his name is well known to the profession, by the learned reports which he conducted, in conjunction with the late eminent Chief Justice, Sir William Oldnall Russell. It is a trite remark, that the best and most brilliant advocates rarely make other than indifferent judges, and although the present day furnishes two or three striking exceptions, the general rule most unquestionably holds good. Perhaps Erskine and Garrow were the two most remarkable instances of its truth. The eloquent and successful advocate, who has suddenly exchanged the bar for the bench, does not readily adapt his feelings and habits to his novel position. His mind has been so long warped by legal subtleties, that it becomes enamoured of hair-splitting niceties, of distinction; prefers the ingenious to the solid in argument, betrays a lurking disposition to take up the difficult side of every question, and often, at the outset of the inquiry, is unconsciously and permanently biassed by hastily adopted notions; while, again, in addressing the jury, force of habit occasionally hurries him into a vehement and impassioned appeal to their feelings in favour of one party or the other, instead of the calm, dignified, and impartial tone which ought ever to characterize the address from the bench.

From faults of this character, Sir Edward is wholly free. We have often been surprised to observe, how skilfully he avoids betraying, in the least degree, the leaning of his opinion, during the progress of a tedious investigation, or a lengthened argument. In vain does the labouring counsel suggest a bypothesis nearly analogous to his own case, or craftily insinuate some ingenious query to sound the bearing of his lordship's mind:-Sir Edward smilingly parries the oblique attack, and, perhaps, puts a question in return which floors the querist! The learned Chief Justice's experience in India, has imparted to

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »