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known how often a great advocate proves an indifferent judge. But if the option were given to parties to select the county court for trying their cause, a test of judicial capacity would manifestly be afforded by the comparative resort to the courts. All my attempts to extend the jurisdiction and to make the optional clause operative, failed. But my disappointment was far greater in the rejection of my proposal, often made, of introducing the process of Reconcilement, on which I have more than once addressed you. Can any one doubt the effect of both parties going before an experienced and impartial person, clothed with judicial dignity, and stating their several cases for his advice without the interposition of professional men? It must lead to the abandonment of most of the groundless claims and desperate defences, and the settlement of more than half the actions now brought. And such is the result of the plan wherever, as in Denmark, it has been fairly tried. The whole community, but most of all the humbler classes, have an immediate interest in this improvement, which will save them from being sacrificed to the profit, not of the more respectable branches, but the worst of the legal profession, the harpies who deform and defile it. As often as this has been propounded, it has been met by technical objections, but not one whit more strenuously than my original proposal of County Courts, or the great Evidence Act, the judges themselves joining in the opposition; and yet thirty years have sufficed to refute the one set of objectors, and a much shorter period to convince and convert the others ; so that the learned judges have candidly confessed how great a help is afforded to the discovery of the truth by hearing the parties themselves as well as their counsel. Not one of the objections to Reconcilement is more strongly urged, or more plausible in itself, than those I had to encounter on County Courts and the Evidence of Parties.
But now, my dear friend, we are dwelling upon the improvement of the law and the great benefits which the community derives from it. We have both of us, from the very beginning of the century, anxiously devoted ourselves to protect the rights of the people and promote their improvement, without the least regard to the combinations or the movements of party; and, Heaven be praised ! we have had success enough to cheer us. Even at the present hour we are comforted by the spectacle of those who suffer the most severely, conducting themselves with exemplary patience, and perfect abstinence from all outbreaks, and even all discontents; 80 unlike the working classes of forty years ago under far less pressure. This is manifestly the result of their advance in knowledge, and better comprehension of the causes of the distress. But while our prospects at home are thus comfortable, abroad, in most quarters, the aspect of affairs is truly painful. Mischief is brewing in one part of Germany that may endanger its internal tranquillity, and even shake the general peace; while priestly intrigue in France may have the same sad result, by the maltreatment of Italy. A gloom is thus cast over the prospect of the future in Europe ; but in America the view of the present is as distressing as possible. Of the grievous civil war now raging for above twelve months, with the utter disregard of human life and of public credit, it is difficult to speak so as not to offend either, nay, perhaps both parties, of whom one seems bent upon an impossibility. But at least let us hope that the imputation is groundless which would represent the Northern States as prepared to inflict upon their adversaries, and upon humanity itself, the only aggravation whereof the deplorable contest is capable, by exciting an insurrection of the slaves. Such a calamity is more to be dreaded by the friends of that unhappy race than by those of their masters, for the chief sufferings would be theirs; and we might, on their behalf, have to address the more numerous and better armed body of the whites, and to exclaim,
Tuque prior, tu parce, genus qui ducis Olympo :
Projice tela manu, sanguis meus ! — Nor let it be imagined that when the war shall happily cease, its evils will be at an end, either for the Americans themselves or for others. Armed men in hundreds of thousands will remain, inured to slaughter, incapable of subordination, impatient of peace--their own government will be less secure than ever and all colonies will have a bad neighbour.*
ART. VI.-THE GLASGOW MURDER.
AFTER nineteen minutes' deliberation, fifteen men, com
posing a Glasgow jury, returned a unanimous verdict, finding Mrs. Jessie McIntosh, or Maclachlan, guilty of the murder of Jessie McPherson, in the house No. 17, Sandyford Place, Glasgow, on the evening of Friday, the 4th, or the morning of Saturday, the 5th of July, 1862. Lord Deas, in passing sentence of death, intimated his decided concurrence in the verdict, and complimented the jury as being “as intelligent as any he had ever seen in a box." The foreman of the jury thanked Lord Deas for the comfortable manner in which they had been accommodated,” with which he had nothing whatever to do, and then the judge and the fifteen jurymen separated to sleep. They were very unanimous—most wonderfully unanimous for Scotchmen, who cannot readily be
* I observe that much attention has of late been bestowed upon the subject of Colonial possessions, and great pains have been taken to discuss their drawbacks and advantages. Sixty years ago I fully explained their great benefits in a work upon the subject. It was much esteemed by our friend Windham, notwithstanding what he called its heresies on the Slave Trade, upon which he always had the most unfortunate prejudices. As the book has been long out of print, and I have always refused to publish another edition, I rather think I must have an abridgment prepared of the chapters which set forth the importance in every view of Colonies to the Mother Country, showing the relation in which they stand to her, and exposing the various errors of those who undervalue them.
† Full reports of the trial were published in the Scotsman, Glasgow Herald, Courant, and other leading Scotch newspapers. There is a separate report in a pamphlet form, published by J. H. Hastings, Glasgow, which seems tolerably good, except that it contains fictitious portraits. We have used the Scotsman report for the most part as the most trustworthy.
found to agree to the number of fifteen upon any question where it is possible to form two opinions. But from that hour to this there have never come together sixteen men who were of the same unanimous opinion as Lord Deas and his jury. Regarding the guilt or innocence of Mrs. Maclachlan, the intelligent opinion of England, Scotland, and Ireland is in great perplexity, while the less intelligent opinion of Scotland, at least the opinion of the lower orders, is in no perplexity at all, but has, in the proportion of at least twenty to one, settled that Mrs. Maclachlan is innocent, and another person is guilty. Glasgow, as a city, has gone almost insane upon the subject, (it says not a little for the great heart of Glasgow, that a desire to see justice done to a sailor's wife can convulse it so,) and several members of its population have gone altogether insane. Not the mere vulgar students of murder for the sake of the terrific are called upon to attend to a phenomenon like this, a phenomenon which has arisen, as it has done, upon one of the most, if not the most perplexing case of circumstantial evidence known in the annals of crime. We have thought longer than nineteen minutes about it, and have come to some ideas, if not to some conclusions, on the subject, which we shall try to unfold; premising, at the outset, that we feel it very difficult to fix on the best point at which to attack so very complicated a subject, but have chosen to start from an historical narration of facts, appending brief comments as they seem to be required, and then balancing, as we best can, the weightiest matters of evidence.
On the afternoon of Monday, the 7th July, Mr. John Fleming, accountant in Glasgow, on his return from his country-house at Denoon, to which he had gone on Friday, found in his house his father, a very old man, whom he had left in it, and his son, who had entered a few minutes before him, and learned from them that his single domestic servant in this town-house, by name Jessie McPherson, had been missing for three days. His father had been in the house all the time,
cooking his own food, and doing whatever was necessary for himself, and he had made no inquiry whatever about the servant further than to try her bedroom door, which was locked, but had waited for the return of his son, expecting always, as he said, that the servant also would return. His grandson had arrived a little before his son, and as soon as the latter arrived, the young man told his father that the servant off, or was lying downstairs dead.” They all went to her room door, and Mr. John Fleming, the master of the house, tried the key of the store-room door in the lock, and it opened it. Her dead body was lying on the floor on its face, almost naked, with a cloth thrown over the upper part of it. Doctors were called in, and the police, and it was found that she had died from a number of wounds on the head, caused by a bluntish cutting instrument. There were traces of blood on the kitchen floor, and very visible stains of blood on the back of the door, and the “jaw-box," and a trail along the passage as if the dead body had been drawn from the kitchen to the
The floor of the kitchen had been washed, or partly washed, apparently at different times, and part of it was not dry when the police and doctors were called in, and was dry two hours afterwards, the floor being of a hard bluish stone which dries quickly. The floor of the room in which the body was locked had been partially washed, as had also the upper part of the body about the head, neck, and breast.
The washing of the floor, and the conduct of old Mr. Fleming in remaining so long in the house by himself without seeking after the servant, at once directed suspicion to him, and on Wednesday he was apprehended in virtue of a warrant from the Sheriff, and committed to prison. The day before his apprehension his son had discovered that various articles of silver plate were missing, and on the same day it was found that they had been pawned by a young woman who gave the name of Mary Macdonald, who received on them the sum of £6 15s. The young man who received the articles had paid little attention to the woman, and could give only an imperfect