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like cases, to end much solid distress which arises from triling causes, as it is common in wedlock, and you will very much oblige us and ours,
N° 253. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1710,
-Pielate gravem ac meritis si fortè virum quem
VIRG. Æn, i. 155.
From my own Apartment, November 20.
Extract of the Journal of the Court of Honour,1710.
Die Lune, vicesimo Novembris, horù nonâ antemeridiana, The court being sat, an uath prepared by the Censor was administered to the assistants on his right-hand who were all sworn upon their honour. The women on his left-hand took the same oath
rea putation. Twelve gentlemen of the horse-guards were impannelled, having unanimously chosen Mr. Alexander Truncheon, who is their right-hand maa in the troop, for their foreman in the jury. Mre 'Truncheon immediately drew his sword, and, hold. ing it with the point towards hiq own body, pre sented it to the Censor, Mr. Bickerstaff received it; and, after having surveyed the breadth of the blade, and sharpness of the point, with more than ordinary attention, returned it to the foreman in a very graceful manner.
The rest of the jury, upon the delivery of the sword to their foreman, drew all of them together as one man, and saluted the bench with such an air, as signified the most resigned submission to those who commanded them, and the greatest magnanimity to execute what they should command.
Mr. Bickerstaff, after having received the com. pliments on his right hand, cast his eye upon the left, where the whole female jury paid their respects by a low courtesy, and by laying their hands upon their mouths. Their forewoman was a professed Platonist, that had spent mach of her time in exhorting the sex to set a just value upon their persons, and to make the men know themselves.
There followed a profound silence, when at length, after some recollection, the Censor, who continued hitherto uncovered, put on his hat with great dignity; and, after having composed the brims of it in a manner suitable to the gravity of bis character, he gave the following charge ; which was received with silence and attention, that being the only applause which he admits of, or is ever given in his presence.
“ The nature of my office, and the solemnity of this occasion, requiring that I should open my first session with a speech, I shall cast what I have to say under two principal heads.
“ Under the first, I shall endeavour to show the necessity and usefulness of this new erected court; and, under the second, I shall give a word of advice and instruetion to every constituent part of it. . As for the first, it is well observed by Phædrus, an heathen poet ;
Nisi utile est quod facimus, frustra est gloria. Which is the same, ladies, as if I should say, it would be of no reputation for me to be president of a court which is of no benefit to the public. Now the advantages that may arise to the weal-public from this institution will more plainly appear if we consider what it suffers for the want of it. Are not our streets daily filled with wild pieces of justice, and random penalties ? Are not crimes undeter. mined, and reparations disproportioned? How often have we seen the lie punished by death, and the liar himself deciding his own cause ! nay, not only acting the judge, but the executioner! Have we not known a box on the ear more severely accounted for than man-slaughter? In these extra-judicial proceedings of mankind, an unmannerly jest is fre. quently as capital as a premeditated murder.
But the most pernicious circumstance in this case is, that the man who suffers the injury must put himself upon the same foot of danger with him that gave it, before he can have his just revenge ; SƠ that the punishment is altogether accidental and may fall
as well upon the innocent as the guilty.
" I shall only mention a case which happens frequently among the more polite nations of the world, and which I the rather mention, because both sexes are concerned in it, and which therefore you gentlemen, and you ladies of the jury, will the rather take notice of; I mean, that great and known case of cuckoldom. Supposing the person who has suf. fered insults in his dearer and better-half; supo posing I say, this person should resent the injuries done to his tender wife ; what is the reparation ho
may expect? Why, to be used worse than his poor Jady, ruu through the body, and left breathless upon the bed of honour. What thon, will you on my right-hand say, must the man do that is affronted? Must our sides be elbowed, our shias broken ? Must the wall, or perhaps our mistress, be taken from us? May a man kpit his forehead into a frown, toss up his arm; or pish at what we say, and must the villain live after it? Is there no redress for injured honour? Yes, gentlemen, that is the design of the judicature we have ltere established.
66. A court of conseience, we very well know, was first instituted for the determining of several points of property, that were too little and trivial for the cognizance of higher courts of justice. In the same manner, our court of honouris appointed for the examination of several niceties and punca tilias; that do not pass for wrongs in the eye of our common laws. But notwithstanding no legislators of
any nation have taken into consileration these little circumstances, they are such as often lead to crimes big enough for their inspection, though they come before them too late for their redress.
“Besidts, I appeal to you, ladies, (here Mr. Beckerstaff turned to his left hand) if these are not the little stings and thorns in life, that make it more uneasy than its most substantial evils ? Confess in. genuously, did you never lose a inorning's devotions because you could not offer them up from the highest place of the pew? Have you not been in pain even at a ball, because other has been taken out to dance before you? Do you love any of so much as those that are below you? Or, have you any favourites that walk on your right-hand ? You have answered me in your looks; I ask go
“ I come now to the second part of my discourse, which obliges me to address myself in particular to the respective members of the court, in which I shall be very brief.
66 As for you, gentlemen and ladies, my assistants and grand juries, I have made choice of you on my right hand, because I know you very jealous of your honour; and you on my left, because I know you very much concerned for the reputation of others; for which reason I expect great exactness and impartiality in your verdicts and judgments.
"I'must, in the next place address myself to you gentlemen of the counsel : you all know that I have not chosen you for your knowledge in the litigious parts of the law ; but because you have all of you formerly fought duels, of which I have reason to think you have repented, as being now settled in the peaceable state of benchers. My advice to you is, only that in your plearlings you will be short and expressive. To which end, you are to banish out of your discourses all synonymous terms, and unge. cessary multiplication of verbs and nouns. I do moreover forbid you the use of the words also and likewise ; and must further declare, that if I catch any one among you, upon any pretence whatsoever, using the particle, or, I shall instantly order him to be stripped of his gown, and thrown over the bar.. 6. This is a true copy :
CHARLES LILLIE." N. B. The sequel of the proceedings of this day will be published on Tuesday next.