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Gordon, won the heart and hand of Miss Julia Manners, sister to the Duchess of St. Alban's. They were publicly married : little did Miss Manners think that a deception was being practised upon her by a man who was married to another, and that the day would come when the law would break up that illusion, bastardise her children, and assign her a doubtful status in society, to be shunned if not pitied, and with little chance of ever being received into honourable wedlock. And this is not analogous to the case of bigamy, for here it was absolutely impossible for Miss Manners to have ascertained the fact of Lord Stair's previous marriage.
It has also been urged that, although the system may be in some respects bad, there are individual cases in which it is productive of unquestionable good. That admission is tantamount to giving up the argument, unless the old maxim is to be thrown aside, and the greatest good of the greatest number is no longer to be the acknowledged standard of a good law.
POSTSCRIPT-MR. CHISHOLM ANSTEY.
THE CONVICT QUESTION. WE much regret that the large encroachment on our space
made by the report of the trial, Seymour versus Butterworth, has obliged us to postpone articles on more than one question of pressing interest. We had intended to call our readers' attention at some length to the correspondence which has taken place between Mr. Chisholm Anstey, ex-Attorney-General of Hongkong, and the Colonial Office, and to the remarkable and startling facts which it discloses. It appears that when Mr. Anstey was, in 1858, acting as Attorney-General at Hongkong, he found himself compelled by his official duty, and on information received from one of the magistrates of the colony, to prefer an indictment against a certain Daniel Richard Caldwell, then filling the responsible post of Protector-General of Chinese in the island. The charge against Caldwell was a grave one; it was for piratical practices, and for confederating with pirates, and notably with one Machow-Wong, a worthy who is at present expiating his iniquities at Labuan, under a sentence of penal servitude. It further appears that in consequence of his taking public steps, as Attorney-General, against Caldwell, Mr. Anstey was denounced by the then Governor of Hongkong, Sir John Bowring, in the strongest terms, and was first suspended, and subsequently removed, from his office of law adviser to the Crown, and his position as Member of the Legislative Council of the colony. Happily, however, these arbitrary proceedings had not the effect which was probably anticipated and desired, that of stilling the inquiry: and an investigation having been made by the present Governor, Sir Hercules Robinson, and the Executive Council of Hongkong, it has been officially announced that the charges against Caldwell have been proved, and that he has been dismissed from the public service. It would have been imagined that the Secretary for the Colonies would have taken the carliest opportunity of expressing to Mr. Anstey the regret of Her Majesty's Government that he should have sustained 80 much injury and loss in return for the performance of an arduous public duty ; but we are equally grieved and surprised to find that it has been only after repeated and urgent applications by Mr. Anstey for bare justice, and after a long delay, that the Duke of Newcastle has been induced to make any acknowledgment of the services that gentleman has rendered. His Grace's long continued refusal to do justice is the more extraordinary, inasmuch as it appears from Mr. Anstey's letters that he has never sought, and does not wish for, restoration to office; he asked only an official acknowledgment of his services; and a contradiction to the injurious and (as is now proved) unfounded accusations made against
him by Sir John Bowring. The tardy justice of the Colonial Office is embodied in a letter to Mr. Anstey, of November 14th, and we extract the following passage:
“I am directed to inform you, that the Duke of Newcastle is perfectly ready to express his opinion, that the truth of the charges, of which you are the principal author, brought against Mr. Caldwell, before the Commission of Inquiry of 1858, has been substantially established by the recent investigation before the Executive Council, so far as the culpability of his connexion with Ma-chow-Wong is concerned ; consequently, that it cannot now be said, in the words of the letter addressed to you by order of Governor Sir John Bowring, that none of those charges have been satisfactorily proved.' His Grace will go further, and say, that in forcing on a public inquiry into that officer's conduct, you did, in that respect, render a material service to Her Majesty's Government, and the colony of Hongkong."
We have now only space to observe that as the colonial law officers of the Crown are frequently placed in circumstances of considerable difficulty, and are charged with very onerous duties, it is absolutely necessary that they should be supported in the due execution of their functions. The treatment of Mr. Anstey affords scant encouragement to them to come forward for the exposure of corruption and complicity with crime, when practised in the high places of a colony: yet it is for such purposes, we presume, that an Attorney-General holds office. We confess our wish, in the public interest, that a “material service” had been more worthily requited.
The considerable increase of crimes of violence during the autumn and winter has led to the discussion of the whole question of secondary punishment and convict discipline. The Edinburgh, Quarterly, and Westminster Reviews contain articles thereon, and the Law Amendment and Juridical Societies, and the Society of Arts, have devoted several evenings to debates on the subject, in which, as usual, a wide diversity of opinion has prevailed. There is one point, however, on which all seem to be agreed that the convict system of England has broken down, or is at any rate a comparative
failure. The Home Office seems to acknowledge as much by appointing a Royal Commission of Inquiry,* which will commence its sittings in a few days, and will probably effect much good by collecting fresh information, and spreading through the public mind a spirit of calm investigation in the place of the passion and prejudice which have been hitherto too prevalent on the question. For ourselves, we are open to conviction from any quarter, and on any portion of the subject; but we are much mistaken if the result of the inquiry be not to establish two points:—the one, that transportation to a penal settlement, and on any large scale, is both inexpedient and impracticable; the other, that the adoption of the principles of the Irish Convict system would go far to remedy the evils at present complained of, and would place our penal administration in England on a rational and satisfactory basis.
* The names of the Commissioners are given in our “Events of the Quarter.” We are sorry to observe that Lord Brougham's name does not appear in the list. His lordship, if we remember right, was chairman of a select committee of the House of Lords, which, some years since, investigated the subject very fully; and he has since that time repeatedly shown his interest in all its details.
Notices of New Books.
[*** It should be understood that the notices of new works forwarded to us for review, and which appear in this part of the Magazine, do not preclude our recurring to them at greater length, and in a more elaborate form, in a subsequent Number, when their character and importance require it.]
New Commentaries on the Laws of England. (Partly founded on
Blackstone.) By Henry John Stephen, Serjeant-at-Law. Fifth Edition. Prepared for the press, by James Stephen, Esq., LL.D., Barrister-at-Law, &c. In Four Volumes. London: Butterworths.
1863. THE fifth edition of this great work brings down its information to the present time. Mr. James Stephen is the able editor of the volumes which have permanently associated the name of his father with the history of English Law; and we doubt not that many future editions will continue to spread throughout the empire that knowledge of the principles of our jurisprudence, and our constitution, which are so well blended in the pages of these Commentaries with a mass of practical information on all the various branches of law. The Influence of the Mosaic Code upon Subsequent Legislation.
By J. B. Marsden, Solicitor. London: Hamilton & Adams; and
Hatchards. 1862. pp. 303. MR. MARSDEN seems to have been smitten with a desire to vindicate orthodoxy in a legal fashion. He maintains, apparently, that all the nations of the world have borrowed their jurisprudence from the Israelites, and has expended a good deal of time and labour in bringing together proofs of the identity of some of the principles or enactments of the Jewish Code with the laws of other countries, under the impression that he thus proves his thesis. We can assure Mr. Marsden that we thoroughly estimate the excellence of his purpose and the perseverance of his industry ; but we cannot compliment him on having gone beneath the surface of the question, which requires far more learning, and far more intimacy with modern Biblical criticism, than he has any claim to possess. Letters on Transportation and the Game Laws. By William
Howitt. London: A. W. Bennett. 1863. We cannot pretend to praise the contents of this pamphlet. It seems to us to have been written with inadequate knowledge and