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though not a householder, he must every morning at eight, nine, or ten o'clock be at his employment.
But suppose the hunted debtor for a while, at great expense and personal inconvenience, is able to play a game successfully at hide and seek with the local courts, what can he do against the superior courts of Westminster, the Queen's Bench to wit, where Her Majesty sits in person or by her representative, Lord Denman, aided by four other reverend seignors ? From this tribunal the poor creature who happens to owe John Doe £30, £50, £100, or £1,000, or upwards, has little chance of evasion. Its arms are long, extending over the length and breadth of England, and with its fi. fa. and ca. sa., the unhappy victim may be clutched in any corner between the Tweed and the Land'send. The process is short and decisive, divested of some of the forms, and of the costs that till lately delayed and encumbered it. Even the courtesy of a six and eightpenny letter of application is not always observed, but sharp practitioners pounce upon you at once, with a writ of summons, for which they modestly charge £1 15s, and which they require shall be immediately paid into their hands with the debt endorsed to stay the suit! Perhaps you feel indignant at such peremptory demands; perhaps you are an honest man, and would pay if you could, and you consider it unreasonable that your creditor without notice should saddle you with this additional charge, when you are really unable to pay his own little butcher or baker's bill. In this mood you become probably savage or sulky; you make your mind up to brave the worst,—to take no heed, and let them fire away! Your slumber, however, is short, and not sound, for you naturally feel anxious about the future; when you are roused by a second volley. This is a another open slip, longer than the writ, called a declaration,' accompanied with the information that 'an appearance has been put in for you! How kind and considerate! reminding one of those surgical notices in windows, « Teeth extracted here,'—and that, if matters are not settled, judgment will be immediately entered up and execution taken out! Nothing is now said about the amount of 'costs,'—these you are left to find out; but the menace of judgment and execution are enough. You fly to an attorney, who soon informs you that you are laid by the heels; and that body and goods are at the enemy's mercy. Yet we are told that creditors have no power, that everybody may cheat them with impunity! Here we see the contrary, that they have ample coercive means, that by merely letting off shots one, two, three,-by a hop, stride, and a jump, as it were,—they may either lodge a man in gaol(if the debt exceed £20), or seize his effects, anywhere and at any time.
All this procedure we know may be arrested or defeated by 'taking the benefit of the act, as it is termed. But in what position is a debtor placed after passing through the Insolvent Court? It only protects him from immediate process, not future liability (that can only be done by bankruptcy) for his debts, and this on terms not at all enviable. He has two alternatives before him, certainly; he may be an honest man, in which case he gives up all his property, and comes forth from his whitewashing a beggar; or he may be a person of an opposite character and defraud his creditors, in which case he emerges a rogue, and is branded as such. Now, in which of these two capacities, that of a beggar or known rogue, had a person better have to face and make his way in the world ? At all events, we think on either horn of the dilemma creditors have had vengeance enough, and justice ought to be satisfied.
We shall here conclude, having exhibited the tendency and practical working in various ways of the late changes in the Debtor Laws. These changes, it must be recollected, have not been hastily, but gradually introduced; they have been in progress through the whole of the present reign, had their origin in crying evils, and were the result of the long and elaborate inquiries of competent public commissioners. It is, therefore, no rash or crude legislation that has been put forth, but the fruits of experience and of careful preliminary research, and, if steadily persevered in, will, we doubt not, yield all the benefits anticipated from it. Arrest on mesne process was abolished in 1838 ; it was an arbitrary power which no private person ought to possess over another, and, though many had misgivings of the utility of this experiment, seven years have elapsed without any serious evil ensuing to trade or commerce. The abolition of imprisonment on final process for debts not above £20, will, we are convinced, prove ultimately equally salutary ; it limits improper credit, or, if given, deprives imprudent or over-acquisitive persons, of the power of punishment. In exchange, however, for less power over the person, greater power we have shown has been given over the property; the individual himself is not so onerously liable, but his effects are more so. In our estimate this is legislating on sound principles, on principles long advocated by impartial, attentive, and intelligent observers of antecedent evils. But, despite of all these changes, all these meliorations, we see that creditors still wield instruments of coercion, and can brand, ruin, or make miserable those who will not or cannot pay !
Hampton Court ; or the Prophecy Fulfilled ; 3 vols., Bentley.
With Portraits. G. Biggs, Strand. The first of these works has not won our favour, and is an ungainly tilt at an historical novel. It is elaborately dull for one thing. In a laudable effort to be full and faithful, the picture has been made indistinct and fatiguing to look upon : yet it is not uniformly so; at times the author is slap-dash, appears to be seized with fits of exhaustion or disgust, when he bolts out meal and bran together' in utter recklessness of style, thought, and correctness. These are not his least amusing intervals; but the pervading failure is that just hinted, he tires without leaving satisfactory or agreeable impressions. Rich men, and men of established repute are frequently listened to undeservedly, but a new aspirant can claim no such indulgence; he has earned no privilege to be tedious. Where there is a prestige, when the name is up, as in a Scott, Dickens, Disraeli, Jerrold, or Ainsworth, the writer may prose with impunity, take almost unstinted liberties and we are bound to laugh, cry, or be weary when he thinks fit. All he utters is received upon authority, credited for a meaning which, if not felt, is charged to the reader's obtuseness. In this way heavy jokes pass; bald conceits, witless wit, dialogue pointless and vapid, clumsily told anecdotes, impropable plots, with long details of scenes, characters, and events without force, nature, or verisimilitude. But a stranger has to undergo a severer ordeal ; his judges have no wish to know anything about him; and unless he surprises them by some happy sally or burst of genius, they rather shun than seek his acquaintance.
Aversion to labour, and profitless labour, perhaps, is one source of the dislike to new candidates for fame. Their credentials at least must be looked into and tested, and as from the vast majority of adventurers, neither profit nor pleasure can be extracted to compensate for the labour, the task is entered upon with reluctance. Chancery is overwhelmed with suitors ; causes without number are set down to be heard and cannot be heard: but what is the throng in Lincoln's Inn to the press round the literary tribunal ? It thus happens that new books are often taken up peevishly, with a pre-disposition to find some plausible pretext for executing summary justice upon them; and fortunate it is that the author is not within hearing of the first audible sounds that escape his inquisitor! 'Who the devil have we here? What is this?' Then, after the first sentence or two, •We knew all this before; how stupid! what impertinence! VOL. 1.—NO. VIII.
Perhaps the mere absurdity of the opening, with the hope of finding more food for merriment tempts the reviewer onward, in which pursuit the writer may chance imperceptibly to steal upon him, and he is found to have something in him; his thoughts brighten,—his language becomes felicitous,-his dramatis personce more engaging,he is found to be an intellectual original,-a gem of the purest ray!
In the cardinal point of a first impression, Mr. Loyd, the banker-author before us, we regret has not been fortunate, he is not happy in his debut. Abruptly, and at once he ushers the gentle reader into the kitchen, and regales him, amidst the . fumes of roast and boil, smoke and noise, with the coarse mirth and clodhopper jokerie of Masters Windmill and Bottom, Brother Sawyer the verderer, and other worthies, entitled to the entré into this savoury ante-chamber. The title is better than the proem; Hampton Court conjures up numberless recollections of royal pageantry, festive celebrations, state conferences, and theological controversies, of which a vivid and graphic rehearsal could hardly have failed to be interesting. In one element,the most enchaining in works of imagination,it is defective in common with most kingly residences, it abounds in no associations likely to interest the heart and affections. Ambition, intrigue, pomp, and brief authority strut and fret their feverish hour in palaces, and in such abodes every one knows and feels that all is hollow, glistening, and deceitful; that love,—the chief nutriment of a story,—is never more nearly approximated to than a filthy liason or meretricious voluptuousness; and that for the genuine article, for that touch of Nature, which makes the whole world akin', we must descend to humbler abodes. Despite of this vital drawback, we should have been glad had some of the bygone notables of this popular resort been made to glide panoramically. The magnificent Cardinal for instance, is one with whom we should have been happy to shake hands. Wolsey, no doubt, was a splendid splashing fellow, but his mean qualities certainly equalled in number and prominence his great ones. Without a vast deal of cunning and toadyism, it would have been impossible for him to make his way, even for a season, with such a haughty, shrewd, impetuous and jealous autocrat as Henry VIII. Still the Cardinal had an exalted mind; he had tastes, too, some of a high, others of a more earthy character. His love of learning and what he did for it, are creditable to him. He was also a patron of the arts, especially those ministering to luxury and grandeur, and helped to bring them from Italy (where they had begun to flourish under the Medici) into England, where they
were unknown and needed. Mr. Lloyd has not wholly passed him over, and has put into, or more correctly perhaps borrowed, from the mouth of an old chronicler, the following description of the splendid entertainment given to the French ambassadors by the Cardinal at Hampton Court :
My lord's officers caused the trumpets to blow to warn to supper, and the said officers went discreetly in due order, and conducted these noble personages from their chambers to the chamber of presence, where they should sup. Ay, supper was served both costly and full of subtleties, with such a pleasant noise of instruments of music that, the Frenchmen as it seemed were wrapt into a heavenly paradise. Before the second course my Lord Cardinal came in among them, booted and spurred, all suddenly, and bade the proface ; at whose coming they would have risen and given place with much joy, whom my lord commanded to sit still and keep their rooms : and straightways, being not shifted of his riding apparel, called for a chair, and sat himself down in the midst of the table, laughing and being as merry as ever I saw him in all my life. Anon, came up the second course with so many dishes, subtleties and curious devises which were above a hundred in number, of goodly proportion and costly. Then my lord took a bowl of gold, which was esteemed of the value of five hundred marks, filled with hypocras, whereof there was plenty, and putting off his cap, said, 'I drink to the King, my sovereign lord and master, and to the King your master:' and therewith drank good draught, and when he had done, he desired the grand-master to pledge him, cup and all, the which cup he gave him; and so he called the other lords and gentlemen in other cups to pledge these two royal princes. Then went the cups merrily about, that many of the Frenchmen were fain to be led to their beds.' — .p. 4-6.
Cardinal Wolsey was the last of our great Roman Catholic churchmen, and a stout defender of the popedom. Beside him we should have wished the pedant-buffoon King James to have been brought up ;-to be sure this has already been done by the · Wizard of the North,' and it might have been perilous to attempt his bow.
Oliver Cromwell, Hampden, Prynne, Haslerirg, and other firm republicans, are made to flit before us, and our author hammers at their portraiture, but fails to Punch them off by any of those felicitous H.B. strokes that at once individualise them. His most noticeable mishap in historical sketching, is the ludicrous attempt to exhibit, in the guise of chivalry and romance, GEORGE Monk, the heartless restorer of Charles II. The name of this self-seeker is enough to exclude him from the society of honest men, but to essay to make a hero of him is such an outrage on the popular sentiment that it alone would have been sufficient to swamp ‘Hampton Court.
We do not, however, ourselves concur in all the infamy that has been heaped on the memory of the first Duke of Albemarle. Throughout life, Monk showed himself a brave and skilful soldier, and he was, at least, consistent in his royalism. He