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• upon,' for the same purpose. The fact stands thus, as the reader may perceive, by turning to p. 546 of the volume. The whole debates on the subject, to which these observations can possibly apply, are two; the one upon the 24th February, the other upon the 11th March. On the 16th March, Lord Grosvenor presented a petition, which gave rise to no discussion; no other person spoke, and Lord Grosvenor did not approve of Legislative interference. On the 24th March, Mr Martin moved for leave to bring in a Bill, amending a former act; and he made. two other attempts, which were resisted, on the ground that the law already punished offences as felonies, which he wished to treat as misdemeanors. On these three occasions, all who spoke were against the measure, and there was no argument whatever in favour of preventing cruelty. Indeed, there could have been none, as Mr Martin was wholly unsupported; and the sweeping remarks to which we have referred, plainly do not apply to Mr Martin, but to those who supported his measures. Therefore, the whole debates 6 throughout • the last year,' and all the discussions from the beginning • to the end of the Session, are reduced to two debates, the one at the beginning, and the other at the end, of one fortnight of the Session. Those two debates, moreover, are extremely short: one occupies exactly two pages, and the other not quite three, of the Reports. What then becomes of all the Mem. • bers, except Sir F. Burdett and Sir W. Smith, who took
part in the debates throughout the year' (that is, the hour, or hour and a half, twice in one fortnight)? Why, they amount to exactly three, exclusive of Mr Martin,--that is, Mr Buxton and Mr Butterworth the first night, and Sir J. Mackintosh the second. The four others who spoke, were against the measure.
But at least, it will be said, those three members, Sir J. Mackintosh, and Messrs Buxton and Butterworth, must have displayed the most deplorable ignorance of the great fundamental • principle,' and argued the question upon the ground, now discovered to be so fallacious, of brutes having rights, and of lawgivers having duties towards them, independent of all regard to the interests of human society; at least all those members must have handled the argument, without any reference to the effects of cruelty to animals, in depraving the human character, and contaminating the manners of men-or to the injurious influence of bear-baits, bull-baits, &c. upon the morals of human society-or to the benefits derived by mankind from sacrificing the ease and happiness of the lower animals. Strange as it may seem, these are the very grounds upon which all the Mem
+ bers,' without any exception, support the measure; and we can find no other grounds than these, urged by any one of them, unless a casual remark of Mr Martin, in another debate, may be thought to recognise some right in brutes. But the footing upon which that gentleman distinctly propounds his Bill, for the abolition of bear-baiting, and other cruel practices, is, that • nothing was more conducive to crime than such sports" that they led the lower orders to gambling—that they 6 educated them for theives—and that they gradually train• ed them up for bloodshed and murder ;' and he inveighs against persons in a higher station, and better educated, for propagating by their example, (in attending bull-baits, &c.)
feelings of cruelty and bloodshed among their inferiors.' (p. 546.) Mr Buxton supported the bill, because Mr Martin's former measure had already produced a beneficial and extraordinary • change in the manners of the lower orders.' Mr Butterworth, without entering into the discussion of the measure itself, but following Mr Buxton on the same side, and therefore, it may be presumed, adopting his view of the subject, expresses a hope that the powers of the bill may be extended to the savage, a
bominable, unchristian practice of prize-fighting.' (p. 547.) Sir J. Mackintosh, professing himself averse to petty, trifling, • and vexatious legislation,' expressly defends the present bill from that imputation, because in it the moral welfare of the lower
orders was deeply concerned ;' and he defends at great length, and in a manner which the learned author of the latter part of the dissertations seems highly to approve of, the experiments of a learned anatomist, who had been attacked by Mr Martin,resting the defence of such experiments upon their utility to man, although at the expense of some infliction of pain upon the lower animals. (p. 548.)
In another article, (the remarks on the Suttees), a similar instance of injustice may be observed-arising less, we believe, from any actual purpose of misrepresentation, than from that overweening assumption of superiority, and consequent blindness towards the merits of others, and the determination to undervalue whatever is actually done, by the stale objection, that something much better and more important might have been done. After stating the difficulties of interfering to prevent the burning of Hindoo widows, we are told that • it may fairly be asked, whether those members of the House,
whose imaginations seem so deeply affected, by this disa « tant, irremediable, and comparatively small amount of suf
fering, might not employ their time and faculties better, by allempting to renove the causes of misery prevailing to an enor
nahe misery hy we find, chanted that the Buxtor
• mous extent in their own country, and for the removal of 6 which little more is requisite than a moderate portion of disin• terestedness.' We naturally from this inferred, that the short • discussion' on the Suttees, (as our authors admit it to have been), which had been, nevertheless, employing the time and • faculties' of members to the postponement of other and more pressing subjects, was brought forward by some gentlemen remarkable for not employing that time and those faculties upon • the misery prevailing in their own country.' Upon turning to the Reports we find, that the discussion arose upon the presentation of a petition, and that the members who took the lead in it, were Mr Hume and Mr Buxton-the former less than any man exposed to the charge of not attending to prac, tical evils and abuses at home-the latter more remarkable in public life for nothing, than for his devotion of his time and faculties,' to the amendment of our Criminal Law, and the improvement of Prison Discipline; which we presume may be admitted to come within the description of causes of misery prevailing in our own country,' At least the authors of the volume before us seem all through to regard the class to which these subjects belong, as almost the only one deserving of serious ate tention-certainly as paramount in importance to all others; and this brings us to the remarks upon the Court of Chancery.
These are very short; because the exhaustive examination' of the subject is deferred; but it is of course deemed necessary, 6 in the mean time, to express regret at the manner in which it 6 has been handled in Parliament, '--and therewithall we have a most bitter attack upon Mr Williams, who, after being pronounced wholly ignorant of the subject, manifestly incompe• tent to the task he had undertaken,' and extremely ill advised in every step he pursued, and, it is needless to add, (for all are so who presume to touch upon legal questions), one • who has thought very little, or to very little purpose,' on such matters, is declared to have done harm rather than good,' though with excellent intentions ;' and, adds the candid and discreet writer, we cannot help praying that the business may fall into abler hands.' (p. 753.)
The detail of the objections to Mr Williams, and those who acted with him in the great and most useful warfare which he has waged against the Chancery abuses, exhibits in part only, signal want of sense and confusion of ideas; but in part also, so great a want of candour, as would lead the reader to suspect the good faith of the writer, if the extravagances could ever be forgotten, into which men are often led by overweening selfconceit. We regard those who thus inveigh against the most
honest, able, and undaunted enemies of abuses, as among the effectual friends of those abuses. We shall therefore show how these charges against Mr Williams are sought to be supported. : It seems he has not perceived where the real fault lay. The whole system is wrong, and the evil can never be cured but by a total change of it.' The Courts must proceed by having the parties examined before them. District as well as metropolitan Courts of Chancery must be established ; and this cannot be done with any good effect, until our laws shall have « been remodelled into an accessible and intelligible code.' Therefore a code must be compiled for their uniform guidance.' This, one should think, large enough in the way of change; but this is not by any means enough; the district courts must be courts of all work, as well as of equity; for our author cannot for6 bear expressing an opinion, that under (meaning in) an improv
ed judicial system, every court ought to have cognisance over • (meaning of) every kind of cause, and that the distribution of o the tribunals should be purely local, without any metaphysi6 cal division of jurisdictions.' But • this is a topic upon which
Mr Williams has evidently thought very little, or thought
to very little purpose.' It may be so; and yet he may have thought as much, and to as good purpose, as those who can: 6 not forbear expressing such an opinion ;' for it appears to have struck them just as they were writing the sentence. However, it must certainly be admitted, that nothing of all this has been attempted, or probably dreamt of. Therefore we are told, that " the outcry which has now been made, will only occasion some • trifling curtailment of Chancery proceedings, diminishing the 6 whole load of evil, in the proportion of five out of a hundred.' Let us here, in all humility, venture to ask, how great a percentage of the evil would have been removed, had Mr Williams taken the sound and rational course, pointed out by this eminently judicious and practical writer-that is, had he moved for leave to bring in a Code, and then for a bill to divide the kingdom into districts, and plant a Court of Chancery in each of them ? Suppose a man could have been found to second such a motion, how many in the hundred would have voted for it ? and what fraction of one per cent. is so small as to express the amount of the reform that he would have carried, after a lifetime of such attempts, in a House of Commons constituted as the present is, with such a House of Lords to revise its decisions ?
But then we are told, that at least he might have brought 6 forward the details of the present state of Chancery procedure. 6 Yet in this point he has failed, as signally as in every other.! What should he have done? The answer of the omniscient essayist is ready. "There is not a town or hamlet, there • is scarcely a family possessed of any property, that is not
more or less involved in the vortex of this dreadful tribunal: • day after day multiplies the number of victims; and a • large return might annually be made of those who actually die . of protracted hope, disappointment, and even starvation, which • might have been prevented by the acquisition of property with• held from them by the ruinous delays of the Court: thousands • of cases might be brought forward which have lasted from ten • to twenty years, and upon each of which from ten to twenty
thousand pounds has been expended.' · This is the very accurate, distinct, and practical statement of what he should have done, in every town, hamlet, and family.' But what did he ? With such a mass of undeniable suffering • to choose from, he brings forward in his last speech five cases, "none of which are aggravated, and nearly the whole of which
admit of explanation and answer, if not of complete exculpa• tion; thus enabling the “ Solicitor-General to make a plausio ble statement in vindication of the proceedings in Chancery,' and exposing himself to an unexcusable defeat.' Mark here the candour of referring to these five cases brought forward in Mr Williams's last speech, which was avowedly an appendix to his former speech, when the strongest cases, and in the greatest number, were of course stated, and were not to be restated; and the fairness of suppressing the fact, that the five cases brought forward, were five petitions from individuals to the House, complaining of the delays and expense of Chancery in their individual instances; and that Mr Williams's motion consisted merely in laying these petitions upon the table, which he was bound to open the contents of before he brought them up ! But any one who refers to the debate will see, that nothing short of the most inveterate prejudice could induce any person to represent the explanation given of the cases as in the least satisfactory; and to speak of an inexcusable defeat, or a triumph to the defenders of the system, is manifestly ridiculous, in a case where the course taken did not pretend to put the general question in issue. .
The grand objection, however, to Mr Williams is, that he attacks the Chancellor; whereas our author, by a most palpable begging of the question, says the fault lies with the system, Mr Williams is far from denying that the system has many and grievous faults; he even, in the course of his speech upon presenting the petitions, showed no very narrow-minded aversion to extensive and systematic reforma