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IV.—THE ELDER BROTHER.
THE yard of the court-hall was crowded with people waiting for the celebrated case to be called. Among them a sturdy miller—who must have come from a distance, since nobody knew him—was seen elbowing his way. The elder brother was there, looking pale and anxious.
2. "Well, my friend," said the miller, accosting him, "how is your case likely to get on?"
3. "I don't know," replied Thomas;—"badly, I fear; since I have reason to suppose that both judge and jury are heavily bribed,—while I have to depend solely upon the justice of my cause."
4. Finding a sympathetic listener, he went on to relate all the circumstances of his case in a simple and sincere manner, which carried conviction with it.
5. "Cheer up, my friend I" said the miller, grasping his hand. "I have had some experience in these cases, and perhaps I can help you a little. If you will follow my advice, it can do no harm, and it may be of use to you."
The elder brother willingly caught at anything that might give the least prospect of success.
6. "Well, then," said the miller, "when the names of the jury are called over, object to one of them, no matter which. The judge will perhaps ask what your reasons are: then say, 'I object to him by the rights of an Englishman, without giving my reasons why.' Then if asked what person you would prefer in his place, you can look carelessly round and mention me. If I am empanneled, I think 1 may be of some use to you,—though I can't promise."
7. Something in the honest old fellow's manner inspired confidence, and the elder brother gladly agreed to follow his directions. Soon the trial began. As the names of the jury were called, Thomas rose and objected to one of them.
8. "And pray," said the judge, sternly, "why do you object to that gentleman as juryman?"
9. "I object to him, my lord, by the rights of an Englishman, without giving my reasons why."
10. "And whom do you wish to have in his place?"
11. "An honest man, my lord, if I can get one!" cried Thomas, looking round. "Yon miller,—I don't know bis name;—I'd like him."
12. "Very well," says his lordship, "let the miller be sworn."
13. Accordingly the miller was called down from the gallery, and empanneled with the rest of the jury. He had not been long in the box, when he observed, going about among the jurymen, a bustling, obsequious little man, who presently came to him, and smilingly slipped five guineas into his hand, intimating that they were a present from the younger brother.
14. "Yonder is a very polite man!" said the miller, to his next neighbor in the box.
15. "I may well say so," said the delighted juryman, "since he has given me ten guineas to drink our friend James's health." And, on further inquiry, the miller discovered that each man had received double the sum presented to himself.
16. He now turned his whole attention to the trial, which appeared to lean decidedly in favor of the younger brother; for while a few witnesses timidly testified to the plaintiff's striking resemblance to the elder brother, others swore positively that the elder brother was dead and buried.
17. When his lordship came to deliver his charge to the jury, he took no notice whatever of several palpable contradictions in the testimony of these false witnesses, but proceeded to expatiate upon the evidence as if it had been overwhelmingly in James's favor.
18. When he had concluded, the usual question was put to the jury: were they all agreed? The foreman rose, with his ten guineas jingling in his pocket, and was about to reply, supposing all to have been equally convinced with himself, by tbe same golden arguments; when the miller stepped forward, calling out,—"No, my lord, we are not all agreed I"
19. "And pray," said his lordship, frowning with contempt and impatience, "what objections have you?"
20. "I have many objections, my lord! In the first place all these gentlemen of the jury have received ten broad pieces of gold from the younger brother, while I have received but five!"
21. Having made this simple announcement, to the consternation of the court, and to the amusement of the spectators, the supposed miller proceeded to point out the contradictory evidence which had been adduced, in such a strain of eloquence that all present—especially the elder brother and the attorney—were fdled with amazement. At length the judge, unable to contain himself, called out with vehemence,—" Who are you ?—where do you come from ?— what is your name?"
22. To which the miller calmly replied: "I come from Westminster Hall—my name is Matthew Hale—I am Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench; and convinced as I am of your entire unfitness to hold so high a judicial position, from having observed your iniquitous and partial proceedings this day, I command you to come down from that tribunal which you have so disgraced. I will try this case myself."
23. Sir Matthew then ascended the bench in his miller's coat and wig; ordered a new jury to be empanneled; reexamined the witnesses, and drew out confessions of bribery from those who had sworn to the elder brother's death. He then summed up the case anew, and it was unhesitatingly decided in the elder brother's favor.
V.—THE FINDING OF THE LYRE.
THERE lay upon the ocean's shore
The surf had rolled it over,
As wind and weather might decide it,
Ii. It rested there to bleach or tan,
The rains had soaked, the suns had burned it; With many a ban the fisherman
Had stumbled o'er and spurned it; And there the fishcr-girl would stay,
Conjecturing with her brother, How in their play the poor estray
Might serve some use or other.
As empty as the last new sonnet,
So said, so done; the chords he strained,
And, as his fingers o'er them hovered,
The lyre had been discovered.
Dead shell, of soul and thought forsaken.
In thee what songs should waken!
James Russell Lowell.
VI—TREATMENT OF THE AMERICAN
MY LORDS—I rise with astonishment to see these papers brought to your table at so late a period of this business; papers, to tell us what? Why, what all the world knew before; that the Americans, irritated by repeated injuries, and stripped of their inborn rights and dearest privileges, have resisted, and entered into associations for the preservation of their common liberties.
2. Had the early situation of the people of Boston been attended to, things would not have come to this. But the infant complaints of Boston were literally treated like the capricious squalls of a child, who, it was said, did not know whether it was aggrieved or not. But full well I knew at that time that this child, if not redressed, would soon assume the courage and voice of a man. Full well I knew that the sons of ancestors, born under the same free constitution, and once breathing the same liberal air, as Englishmen, would resist upon the same principles and on the same occasions.
3. What has government done? They have sent an armed force, consisting of seventeen thousand men, to dragoon the Bostonians into what is called their duty; and, so far from once turning their eyes to the impolicy and destructive consequence of this scheme, are constantly sending out more troops. And we are told, in the language of menace, that, if seventeen thousand men won't do, fifty thousand shall.
4. It is true, my lords, with this force they may ravage the country, waste and destroy as they march; but in the progress of fifteen hundred miles can they occupy the places they have passed? Will not a country which can produce three millions of people, wronged and insulted as they are, start up, like hydras, in every corner, and