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Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 339, January, 1844   By:

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First Page:

BLACKWOOD'S

Edinburgh

MAGAZINE.

VOL. LV.

JANUARY JUNE, 1844.

[Illustration]

1844.

BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCXXXIX. JANUARY, 1844. VOL. LV.

CONTENTS.

STATE PROSECUTIONS, 1 ADVENTURES IN TEXAS. NO. III. THE STRUGGLE, 18 CLITOPHON AND LEUCIPPE, 33 THE NEW ART OF PRINTING. BY A DESIGNING DEVIL, 45 THE BANKING HOUSE. PART THE LAST, 50 KÍEFF, FROM THE RUSSIAN OF KOZLÓFF, 80 MARSTON; OR, THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN. PART VII. 81 LETTER FROM LEMUEL GULLIVER, 98 THE PROCLAMATION, 100 THE FIREMAN'S SONG, 101 POSITION AND PROSPECTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, 103

EDINBURGH:

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 45, GEORGE STREET; AND 22, PALL MALL, LONDON.

To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed.

SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS THE UNITED KINGDOM.

PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND HUGHES, EDINBURGH.

STATE PROSECUTIONS.

The Englishman who, however well inclined to defer to the wisdom "of former ages," should throw a glance at the stern realities of the past, as connected with the history of his country, will be little disposed to yield an implicit assent to the opinions or assertions of those, who maintain the superiority of the past, to the disparagement and depreciation of the present times. Maxims and sayings of this tendency have undoubtedly prevailed from periods of remote antiquity. The wise monarch of the Jewish nation even forbade his people to ask "the cause that the former days were better than these;" "for," he adds, "thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this." Far different would be the modern precept of a British monarch. Rather let the English subject "enquire diligently concerning this," for he cannot fail to enquire wisely. Let him enquire, and he will find that "the former days" of England were days of discord, tyranny, and oppression; days when an Empson and a Dudley could harass the honest and well disposed, through the medium of the process of the odious star chamber; when the crown was possessed of almost arbitrary power, and when the liberty and personal independence of individuals were in no way considered or regarded; days when the severity of our criminal laws drew down from a French philosopher the sneer, that a history of England was a history of the executioner; when the doomed were sent out of the world in bands of twenty, and even thirty, at a time, at Tyburn or at "Execution dock;" and when, in the then unhealthy tone of public morals, criminals famous for their deeds of violence and rapine, were regarded rather as the heroes of romance, than as the pests and scourges of society. Let him enquire, and he will find that all these things have now long since passed away; that the rigours of the criminal law have been entirely mitigated, and that the great charters of our liberties, the fruits of accumulated wisdom and experience, have now been long confirmed. These facts, if universally known and duly pondered over, would go far to banish discontent and disaffection, and would tend to produce a well founded confidence in the inherent power of adaptation to the necessities of the people, possessed by the constitution of our country... Continue reading book >>


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