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is so; it is a wise, retributive dispensation ; it bears the stamp of a preventive Providence. I rejoice it is so, in the present instance, first, because this premature infliction must ensure repentance in the wretched sufferer; and next, because, as this adulterous fiend has rather acted on the suggestions of his nature than his shape, by rebelling against the finest impulse of man, he has made himself an outlaw from the sympathies of humanity.-Why should he expect that charity from you, which he would not spare even to the misfortunes he had inflicted ? For the honour of the form in which he is disguised, I am willing to hope he was so blinded by his vice, that he did not see the full extent of those misfortunes. If he had feelings capable of being touched, it is not to the faded victim of her own weakness, and of his wickedness, that I would direct them. There is something in her crime which affrights charity from its commiseration. But, Gentlemen, there is one, over whom pity may mourn-for he is wretched; and mourn without a blush,for he is guiltless. How shall I depict to you the deserted husband ? To every other object in this catalogue of calamity there is some stain attached which checks compassion. But here-Oh! if ever there was a man amiable, it was that man. Oh! if ever there was a husband fond, it was that husband. His hope, his joy, his ambition was domestic; his toils were forgotten in the affections of his home; and amid every adverse variety of fortune, hope « pointed to his children,--and he was comforted. By this vile
act that hope is blasted, that house is a desert, those children are parentless! In vain do they look to their surviving parent: his heart is broken, his mind is in ruins, his very form is fading from the earth. He had one consolation, an aged mother, on whose life the remnant of his fortunes hung, and on whose protection of his children his remaining prospects rested ; even that is over; she could not survive his shame, she never raised her head, she became hearsed in his misfortune ;-he has followed her funeral. If this be not the climax of human misery, tell me in what does human misery consist? Wife, parent, fortune, prospects, happiness-all gone at once, -and gone for ever! For my part, when I contemplate this, I do not wonder at the impression it has produced on him; I do not wonder at the faded form, the dejected air, the emaciated countenance, and all the ruinous and mouldering trophies, by which misery has marked its triumph over youth, and health, and happiness? I know, that in the hordes of what is called fashionable life, there is a sect of philosophers, wonderfully patient of their fellow-creatures' sufferings; men too insensible to feel for any one, or too selfish to feel for others. I trust there is not one amongst you who can even hear of such calamities without affliction ; or, if there be, I pray that he may never know their import by experience; that having, in the wilderness of this world, but one dear and darling object, without whose participation bliss would be joyless, and in whose sympathiea sorrow
has found a charm; whose smile has cheered his toil, whose love has pillowed his misfortunes, whose angel-spirit, guiding him through danger, and darkness, and despair, amid the world's frown and the friend's perfidy, was more than friend, and world, and all to him! God forbid, that by a villain's wile, or a villain's wickedness, he should be taught how to appreciate the wo of others in the dismal solitude of his own. Oh, no! I feel that I address myself to human beings, who, knowing the value of what the world is worth, are capable of appreciating all that makes it dear to us.
Observe, however,-lest this crime should want aggravation-observe, I beseech you, the period of its accomplishment. My client was not so young as that the elasticity of his spirit could rebound and bear him above the pressure of the misfortune, nor was he withered by age into a comparative insensibility; but just at that temperate interval of manhood, when passion had ceased to play, and reason begins to operate; when love, gratified, left him nothing to desire; and fidelity, long triod, left him nothing to apprehend : he was just, too, at that period of his professional career, when, his patient industry having conquered the ascent, he was able to look around him from the height on which he rested. For this, welcome had been the day of tumult, and the pale midnight lamp succeeding; welcome had been the drudgery of form; welcome the analysis of crime; welcome the sneer of envy, and the scorn of dulness, and all the spurns which“ patient merit of
the unworthy takes.” For this he had encountered, perhaps, the generous rivalry of genius, perhaps the biting blasts of poverty, perhaps the efforts of that deadly slander, which, coiling round the cradle of his
young ambition, might have sought to crush him in its envenomed foldings. * Ah! who can tell how hard it is to climb
The steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar !
And waged with fortune an eternal war ?” Can such an injury as this admit of justification ? I think the learned counsel will concede it cannot. But it may be palliated. Let us see how. Perhaps the defendant was young and thoughtless ; perhaps unmerited prosperity raised him above the pressure
of misfortune; and the wild pulses of impetuous passion impelled him to a purpose at which his experience would have shuddered. Quite the contrary. The noon of manhood has almost passed over him; and a youth, spent in the recesses of a debtor's prison, made him familiar with every form of human misery; he saw what misfortune was ;-it did not teach him pity: he saw the effects of guilt;-he spurned the admonition. Perhaps in the solitude of a single life, he had never known the social blessedness of marriage ; --he has a wise and children; or, if she be not his wife, she is the victim of his crime, and adds another to the calendar of his seduction. Certain it is, he has little children, who think themselves legitimate; will his advocates defend him, by
proclaiming their bastardy ? Certain it is, there is a wretched female, his own cousin too, who thinks herself his wife; will they protect him, by proclaiming he has only deceived her into being bis prostitute ? Perhaps his crime, as in the celebrated case of Howard, immortalized by Lord Erskine, may have found its origin in parental cruelty; it might perhaps have been, that in their spring of life, when fancy waved her fairy wand around them, till all above was sun-shine, and all beneath was flowers; when to their clear and charmed vision this ample world was but a weedless garden, where every tint spoke Nature's loveliness, and every sound breathed Heaven's melody, and every
breeze was but embodied fragrance; it. might have been that, in this cloudless holiday, Love wove his roseate bondage round them, till their young hearts so grew together, a separate existence ceased, and life itself became a sweet identity; it might have been that, envious of this paradise, some worse than demon tore them from each other, to pine for years in absence, and at length to perish in a palliated impiety. Oh! Gentlemen, in such a case, Justice herself, with her uplifted sword, would call on Mercy to preserve the victim. There was no such palliation: --the period of their acquaintance was little more than sufficient for the maturity of their crime ; and they dare not libel Love, by shielding under its soft and sacred name the loathsome revels of an adulterous depravity. It might have been, the husband's cruelty left a too easy inroad for se