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ditors be bankrupt, or even compound with them to be bankrupt themselves, rather than refrain from the fatal practice. If there is a being on earth completely and irrevocably miserable, it is the gamester, who sees his fortune dissolving under the influence of cards and dice. The slave that digs for gold, sleeps contented on the piles which are another's; while those for whom he toils, convert their good to mischief, making abundance the means of want, and plenty lead to wasteful excess: thus shallow streams glide safely between their banks, while swelling torrents overflow the shores, and leave their channels empty.
Gaming has been compared to the cold bath: you have a tremor a hesitation at first-but, having once plunged in, you are thrown into the most delightful glow.
The idle vanity of being introduced into fashionable company, has been the ruin of ma ny a promising youth. In some private families, faro tables are introduced; and black legs find an easy introduction to such places, when they possess a genteel exterior and pleasant
Dr. M.Cabe conducted me to a house of this kind, a few evenings ago, where besides Faro and Hazard, the foreign games of Roulet and Rouge and Noir were introduced. Every person appeared so busy at his devotions, that I preserved my incognito during the evening, and was enabled to make my observations undisturbed. The fury of disappointment, the horror of despair, and the wick
ed joy of transient success, were depicted on the different countenances in the room, I observed one person, who appeared absorbed in thought, in the midst of the hurricane around him. Another young man, who had lost all his money, was pawning his watch, for a small sum, at a heavy interest. This recalled to mind an amusing scene in Shirley's comedy of “ The Gamesters:
Nephew. In the mean time, I will play away, for want of cash, some superfluous things about
Dwindle. By the time you are come to your shirt, I shall be with you!
The charge is prepared, the lawyers are met,
The Beggar's Opera.
I HAVE several times attended the trials at the Old Bailey. They appear to be conducted with justice and humanity. All the witnesses are collected in the same area, and are in rea. diness to appear before the judge, when called for. The prisoner stands at the bar by himself, with a mirror suspended near him, for what purpose I cannot imagine. The judge sits in all his peruquial magnificence at his desk, which is often surrounded with beautiful women, relations of the Grand Jury; on the desk
I observed several flowers, which are a corrective of the intolerable stench which emanates from the prisoners and witnesses. The jury sit in a box under the gallery. The sword of Justice glitters in face of the prisoner; on the wall are printed sentences from the Bible, being denunciations against the heinous crime of perjury. The witness who is cited, advances to the foot of the steps, and previous to his appearance before the justices, swears on the Gospels to utter “ the truth, and nothing but the truth.” An inspector of banknotes attends to exarnine the paper-money presented to him.
Last Monday, I was present at. a trial in which there were three capital convictions. The oldest culprit was near 70 years his eyes were like those of the hyæna, and the whole expression of his countenance was ferocious. He appeared to have passed a life sul. lied with every glaring enormity, and no person would have stood forth in his defence: When the last sentence of the law was pronounced, nothing could exceed the scornful indifference, and the frigid apathy of this isolated criminal.
The next case brought forward was that of a miller, who was accused by his own servant of having stolen a quantity of wheat from a boat on the Thames; which offence is punished with death by the Draconian laws of this coun. try! The witness equivocated so much, and was so coofused by the thoughts of his baseness, that his perjury became evident, and the
miller was unanimously acquitted the servant was reserved to “stand earless on high”-the pillory being a fit punishment for such perjured miscreants. It would be impossible to describe the joyful emotions which the poor miller exhibited, on recovering from the shock of distracting passions; I will never forget the beautiful expression of his countenance, and the exquisitely feeling manner with which he poured forth his gratitude for his deliverance.
The laws of England are admirably calculated for the security of the wealthy_but all their thunders are reserved for the “ redun. dant population.” Riches circulate unequally through the country; they sprout out into wens and tumours, which wither and paralize the extremities. Whilst the elect are screened by every possible enactment, those classes whose exertions are the most useful in England's emergency, are thrust out of the pale of society, and are trampled down and exterminated at the discretion of the higher orders of the community. The courts of justice have been facetiously described as places,
“ Where little villains must submit to fate,
That great ones may enjoy the world in state.” By the laws of this country, above 150 offences subject the parties found guilty to death without benefit of clergy!" In consequence of this severity,” says Blackstone, “ the injured through compassion will often forbear to prosecute; the juries through compassion will
sometimes forget their oaths, and either acquit the guilty or mitigate the nature of the offence; and judges, through compassion, will respite one-half the convicts, and recommend them to royal mercy. The disproportion of the punishment to the nature of the offence is enor
The ferocious ruffian who robs and murders, the wretch who forcibly violates female chastity, the villain who involves your house in conflagration, or your country in the horrors of rebellion,-is doomed to no severer punishment (except the ignominy exercised on his dead body,) than the petty villain who steals a few shillings to save him from starvation! If a scoundrel murder a man in boxing, the case is brought in manslaughter, and the bloody assassin slightly, if at all punished. But if a poor famished wretch, driven to despair by the taxes, infringe on the privileges of the bank, or steal more than the value of 12 pence from a Dives, perhaps infinitely more wicked than himself, he is forsooth condemned to the same death which he would have suffered, if he had murdered and robbed a whole family!
The minds of offenders, long inured to the practice of criminal pursuits (observes Dr. Colquhoun,) are by no means beneficially affected by the punishment of death, which they are taught to consider as nothing but a momentary paroxysm, which ends all their distress at once; nay even
as a relief which many of them, grown desperate, look upon with a species of indifference, bordering on a desire to meet that