« PreviousContinue »
no particular object can be specified, therefore his robbery is general ; that is to say, ho
has robbed it of every thing that is in it ; so that, because he has taken nothing at all, he has taken every article in the house, from the lady's jewels and wardrobe to the shirt, that is on the gentleman's back. According to this kind of argument, if A snap a pistol at poor Z with intention to kill him, A has killed Z out-right, notwithstanding that Z is perfectly unhurt, and that the pistol was not loaded !—We think that the commissionel who devised this method of taking the will for the deed, may well call out supnka; he has discovered that which has so long been sought for by the friend of humanity and the legislator, and sought for in vain. He has discovered a method by which the deadly effects of duelling may be neutralized. Hencefortli instead of recording in our columns the fatal result of an appeal to pistols, we shall have the far more gratifying task of penning such paragraphs as this, “yesterday morning a duel took place between Captain A and Mr. Z. The parties having taken their ground, Capt. A declared his intention to be to shoot Mr. Z through the head, and Mr. Z having made the same declaration, the signal was given, the parties fired, and both being killed, the seconds declared themselves satisfied, and all four went home to a cheerful breakfast together.” This we hope will be one of the happy results of the new code.
Let us take another “illustration.”
“ (b) A pulls a bung out of a hogshead of liquor in Z's possession, with the intention of fraudulently taking some of the liquor without Z's consent. As soon as the liquor begins to flow, “A has committed theft.” Here we must again dissent from the code A in this case has not committed theft, until he has actually received some of the liquor into his mouth, without the interven. tion of other recipient, jug, mug, or what not, usually employed in the conveyance of liquor to the mouth ; o has received some of it in some such vessel by him em ployed for the purpose. Let us illustrate this illustra. tion a little further, and we shall perceive the utter ab surdity of this minute doctrine of “beginning to move.’ Let us suppose that at the moment, that A has “pulled out' a bung from Z's hogshead of Hodgson's best ale, so placed as that the moment the bung is taken out, the liquor will “begin to move' or, in plain language, run out of the cask. Now, let us suppose that just as A has pulled out the bung, he sees or hears, or faucies that he sees or hears Z coming with a big stick to de. send his barrel, and therefore A scampers off, as fast as he can, without having had time to secure a single drop of liquor. Well, A having run away, and the ale having ‘began to move' for want of a bung, which A in his hurry had forgotten to replace, the liquor continues to run and run-labitur et labetur, till the whole has escap. ed, or at least till the liquor within the cask has sound the level of the bung-hole. Here according to the new code, A has committed theft, and actually stolen the whole hogshead of beer, although he never received a drop of it into his own possession. What cannot, cannot exist consistently with truth, cannot be all. We say that it is not true, to say that A in the above case has committed a theft. It is true that in common parlance and in poetical language, poor Z, when he comes to dis. cover his loss, may be allowed to exclaim in the anguish of his heart, “he has robbed me of my beer.' We should not quarrel with Z for uttering such an expres
sion, especially when lamenting him of so gievous a loss. What mattered it to Z whether A had piered it, or caused it to begin and continue to move, out of the embraces of the hoop-bound hogshead, and irrigate the barren and the thankless floor 1. Again we say, that Z is to be excused, if, in bewailing him of such a loss, he exclaims, “he has robbed me of my beer." But we will not allow such loose language to a legislator. Z has in the case above"committed no theft; he has committed an offence it is true and ought to ue punished; but he cannot be punished for theft, seeing that he has stolen nothing.
The next illustration savors of the ludicrous.
“(c) A puts a bait for dogs in his pocket, and thus induces Z's dog to follow A. Here it A's intention be fraudulently to take the dog out of A's possession, with. out Z's consent, A has committed theft as soon as Z's dog begins to follow A.”
The object of this illustration we suppose is to fix the moment when thest is committed, which we should think not very possible, without we could call in the evidence of Towzer himself. A has, in his great-coat pocket, some savory viands which he artfully places betwixt the wind and the canility of Towzer. The nostrils of Tow zer being transported with delight, he begins to move towards A, but we should think it very dislicult for any one to fix that moment. But let us suppose that whilst A is walking off, with Towzer nosing his great-coat pocket, tow. zer's master appears upon the stage and calls his dog away from A's great-coat pocket. Now, according to the code, A has stolen Towzer; let us then suppose that Z charge him with “the offence” and accuses A under this clause, what will A say in his defence 2 We should imagine as follows: “ you call this a bait for dogs. Why, it is my own dinher. It is not quite so good perhaps as your dinner, or even the dinner you give to your dogs; but it is the best I can afford. Šteal your dog, indeed, why, it was your dog that wanted to steal my dinner;"And most likely to snap a bit out of the calf of my leg. f charge you, under the new code, with letting #o loose a furious dog “intending or know: ing it to be likely to cause Z to believe that he (the dog) is about to assault Z.” Here the tables are turned indeed Z becomes A, A becomes Z, and our old friend Z primus, instead of getting A punished for dog-steal. ing, falls himself within the penalties of the clause, which provides against “... making thew of assault” by means of “a furious dog unmuzzled.” Poor Z somehow or other he always comes off second best under the new code. By advice of the code he charges A with dog-stealing, and is himself trounced in consequence, by the very same code for “shew of assault." All this is enough to break Z's heart. But the code itself, strange to say, takes upon itself the burden of definong what is, not theft, and nobody will deny that the following is not theft:
“(k), A delivers his watch to Z, a jeweller, to be ‘egulated, Z carries it to his shop. A, not owing to the loweller any debt for which the jeweller night lawfully letain the watch as a security, enters the shop openly, takes his watch by force out of Z's hand, and carries it away. Here A, though he may have committed crimi
nal trespass and assault, has committed no theft, inasmuch as what he did was not done fraudulently.”
At this rate we may expect to be informed in some part of the code of the death Queen Anne, that two and two make four, and that sleas are not lobsters. Let us take another. “(a) A and Z are gardeners. Z has reared a pine. apple of extraordia.ary size, in hope of obt, ining a prize. A takes the pineapple without Z's consent, produces it before the judges as his own, and obtains the prize. He then sends back the pineapple to Z. Here, as A took the pineapple fraudulently, A has committed theft, though he has re-tored the pineapple.” We should like to know whether the code means that the theft has been committed on the pineapple, the prize, or both. We should say, that A cheated both the prize-giver and and Z, that the taking the pineapple, was part of the means of effecting the cheat. Take another. “(t) A being on friendly terms with Z, goes into Z's library, in Z's absence, and takes away a book with.
The long expected and much talked of Victoria Ball, was at length consummated last night. It had been for months in agitation, at one time laid on the shelf and like to expire, at another revived and newly invigorated ; once we almost feared that it was doomed to be one of those many anticipated events which never advance further than the embryo ; but now it has actually been perfected in the womb of time, has existed, and is departed-gone, gone to the sepulchre of the past. All the bustle, and turmoil and excitement is now over, the vesture-nakers will have a little breathing time, the curious nothing further to enquire about – the mysterylovers nothing to conceal, but the gossips plenty to talk about. A pageant of this elaborate nature has generally a fortnight's moral existence,—it exists a week in prosPect and a week in retrospect. It has now become something to talk about.
Never in our recollection has the City-of-Palaces been more full of youthful beauty than it is at the present moment. Bright eyes and rosy cheeks, and pale ones too, which, to us, at least, are still more fascinating (“pale with high and passionale thoughts,” as L. E. L. expresses it, in somewhat the same strain as that in which Shakespeare speaks of a cheek, “ sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought") and light forms full of grace and elegance, and sweet voices now abound every where. There was a time, when we eschewed society, and look. el upon a Fancy Ball as nothing better than a “ vanity fair ;” but we honestly confess that we have been utterly unable to resist the fascinations of this season. Our so. cial propensities have been called into action to a degree altogether unprecedented in a life, which has not been a very brief one. Who can remain at home when a , and a ", *, *, and a-, and * * *, exercise their irresistible witchery in the mazes of the graceful dance 2 Not we —not we —when we look a. round upon ... the ... throng of graceful, undulating, forms which flit about like young Sylphides, the buoyance of our by-gone days, again invigorates our frames, and we fancy ourselves in reality young again, ever exclaiming in the words of a poet, whom we do not very often cite as an authority,
There's not a joy the world can give
Qh indeed, when we look upon these fairy forms, we almost imagine that we have fallen into the hands of Medusa, who has cast us into her magic cauldron and made us young again. We have been before the public long enough to have been often cut up without theas. sistance of the sorceress.
But we must speak of the Town Hall. When we first entered it, we found ourselves in a very bower of roses, and we thought of Oberon and Titania, and the fairies of the “Midsummer's Night's Dream,” though this, in truth, is mid-winter, and we looked around for little Puck and his frolics, and before very long we discovered him in the shape of a two-penny Postman ; and we thought of the “bower of roses by Bendemeer's streams,” and of the nightingale who last sang the pretty song to us. When we arrived in the ball room, we were quite bewildered; we knew not whether we were in Greece, or Switzerland, or the Highlands of Scotland, or Fairy-land, or whether we were taking a part in a tableau vivant, representing an apotheosis of Walter Scott, such a diversity of mimic garbs were there present, so many costumes of different nations were making up the motley throng. We wish we could do justice to the assembled multitude, and give a correct account of the sancy dresses; but as we have been often told by one, whose dicta, are gospel to us, he who does his best
Does well, does nobly, angels could no more, we herewith begin our attempt.
Miss M. A. Ross and Mrs. Gordon, attired as Scotch assies, are the first in order, to whom we must allude. Doctor Johnson said, that the only fine prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road which takes him to London; but the Lexicographer would not have said this, if he had seen such sweet Highland lassiesin Scotland as we saw last night at the Town Hall. Towards the latter part of the evening a highland reel was danced in excellent style by the two Misses Ross, Dr. Stewart, Mr. Edwards, &c. The two gentlemen whom we have mentioned, were dressed in a corresponding costume, and admirably attired they were. Miss Erskine, as Mary Arenel, looked the lovely high-born damsel to perfection; but we should have thought from her grace and elegance that she had spent all her days fo the “Court of Feliciana," and not in the rustic neighbourhood of the Scottish Monastery. The two Misses Godby, in Polish costumes, looked, as they ever do, very pretty and fascinating. Mrs. Parker was splendidly attried as Anne of Austria, and Mr. Parker, in one of the finest dresses in the room, supported the part of the Duke of Buckingham. Miss Trower was a pretty little Swiss peasant. Mrs. Pierce Taylor, and Miss Shaw were tastefully attired, as we think, but we may be wrong, in the costumes of the Tyrol, and Mr. Taylor looked as though he had just stepped out of one of Lewis's pictures. Mr. Bayley was very correctly attired as the Master of Ravenswood; Mr. Henry Palmer as Sir Giles Overreach ; Mr. William Palmer as Rienzi, and Mr.Stocqueler
as Angelo Colonna. Mr. Larpent, in a sumptuous
dress, assumed the character of Charles the Se. cond. Mr Kaye, as Sir Piercie Shafton, dressed as Mysie Happer described him, (see Walter Scott's Monastery) talked Euphuism most vigorously ; but his courtly pace was somewhat retarded by a very inappropriate limp ; we suppose that this was occasioned by the duello with Halbert Glendinning. Mr. Wm. Bracken was admirably dressed in an Albanian costume and looked the character exceedingly well; and Mr. Wyllie, as an Austrian Officer, struck us as a capital personation. Mr. Cecil Trower was beautifully dressed in a Greek costume. Captain Colley, as Meg Merrilies excited our admiration; and a gentleman, whom he could not identify by reason of his huge proboscis, looked Punchinello to perfection. Robinson Crusoe, companioned by a new Zealand chief, in the absence of his man Friday, were regarded with much attention and well sustained their characters. We observed Sir Callaghan O' Brallaghan amidst the assembled multitude and “a flaxen headed Ploughboy, who whistled o'er the lea," looking his character to admiration. Besides this there were a variety of Turkish, Greek, Swiss, and old English costumes, which we have no space to particularize, but we must not forget to mention one character, which was the chef d' acuvre of the night.
A very facetious gentleman, whose identity we were unable to decide upon, went about in the uniform of a two-penny postman, with a large leather bag and dakwallah's bell, distributing letters to the fair ladies assembled. We were able to exert our influence so successfully, that we contrived to peruse a few of these epistles and, as far as our memory, which is fortunately one of the best, will permit us, we now present our readers with a transcript of them. The following was recieved by Miss Ross.
Scorn not our revels, Lady, for to-night
The next is an Acrostic, and therefore it would be needless to say to whom it is addressed.
M any an eye beams brightly here to-night,
R are is such kindliness, and rarer still
To Miss Erskine the following Acrostic was delivered ; we particularly admire the bathos at the end, and if the poet's request was complied with, we are sure that he was better paid for his bardship than any Poet Laureate on record.
And are these scenes still fraught with heart-feltjoy:
E xcitement quickly palls—the sower here
Miss Shakespeare's hallowed name seems to have originated the following elegant but well deserved compliment.
“Lovely as Shakespeare's women,” is a phrase
Miss Trower, who was attired as a Swiss Peasant girl, was exhorted in an acrostic to betake herself home again to her Swiss cottage. We doubt not but that the writer alluded to a certain building of that description at Tita-hur, which makes us think that he must be a Barrackporean.
Thou wilt, I'm sure thou wilt,
Miss Oakes received an appropriate acrostic, with a “ most lame and impotent conclusion.” The writer has edged in a compliment to her worthy sire, which we echo with all our hearts.
I fthou hast ever, in our own dear isle,
0 aks spread protecting branches o'er its head,
The next we had the pleasure of perusing, was a short scroll from some visionary young man to Mrs. H. Alexander.
Exceeding sweet, a vision of the night . .
A nd then too comes a little fairy face L isping in broken accents, while she stays Eyeing her brother's frolics, as he playsx anthe ne'er smiled so clamly, joyfully, A s thy young daughter in her infant glee : N or Tethys, Queen of Ocean,’ neeth the wave Decked with the richest gems her kingdoms gave E or shone more bright, fair lady, now than theeReproach me not—this is not flattery. There were also some neat verses addressed to * fair Katherine.
Killarney's lake ne'er richer beauties gave
But in spite of all that we have said, though, there were hosts of beautiful faces and gay, sumptuous dresses at the Victoria Ball, it lacked animation. People were contented to dress, and thought nothing of sustaining their parts, with the solitary exception of the two-peney post-man, to whose feats we have already alluded. If in this hasty sketch we have omitted to notice, any, whom we ought to have registered more particularly, we must plead the lateness of the hour, and the attendant hurry, as an excuse. However, we have done our best and we have only now to add that we hope very soon to be present at another Victoria Ball.
The Hali was crowded—not less than 600 persons were present. The decorations were of a light, and elegant character, well suited to the occasion, and did much credit to the taste of the Stewards and the artists who carried their arrangements into effect.- Bengal Hurkaru, January 16,
1 have read with much interest the articles in the papers on the subject of Othello. A discussion of the same nature, occurred a year or two ago between the Editor of the Bengal Hurkaru and myself. That gentleman seemed willing at first to adopt the criticism of Coleridge; but he subsequently, with an editorial candour extremely rare, acknowledged, that on more mature consideration he was inclined to return to the general opinion that Shakespeare intended to illustrate the nature of the passion of jealousy in the character and conduct of the Moor. I partly agree with the opinions expressed in an article on this subject in the last number of the Literary Gazette, and especially do I second that portion of the argument which opposes a preceding writer's notion, (very ingeniously maintained, however,) that Shakespeare intended lago, and not Othello, to be the leading illustration of the ill effects of giving too easy admittance to that “ green-eyed monster, which
opinions in the Literary Leaves in an article on the play. I differ, however, on the material point, from the writer in the last number of this journal. He has, I think, greatly and unjustly lowered the character of Othello by representing him as a man naturally jealous. It seems to me that Shakespeare did not intend to give this tone to the mind of Othello, and that it was not his chief object to show how jealous disposition is ready to seize without original or just cause of suspicion upon trifies light as air, as confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ ; but to exhibit the effect of the hideous vice on men of strong passions and fiery minds. When the poison of jea. iousy has once fairly entered the heart, the most trivial circumstances tend to strengthen and confirm its influence; but with such a man as Othello, the misery is not at first self-inflicted. The Moor was the very reverse of a suspicious character, which is always a mean one. In the words of Dr. Johnson, and boundless in his confidence. Even Iago, who “ knew all qualities with such a
mocks the meat it feeds on.” I have expressed similar
learned spirit of human dealing,” repeatedly acknow