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farthing. Prison fare and prison bounds, and the
delightful society of the place, are of no account
to Smith. He finds the debt carefully preserved
in archives of the County Court to meet him on
his reappearance there. A little loss of liberty,
and leisure to make a good book upon the Derby,
which the temporary retirement of the prison
afl'ords to the Honourable Bellington Turfey, are
everything to him. They clear off the debt, and
send the honourable gentleman into the world
again a free man. There's a little difference in
the cases, is there not, sir? But I have not told
you all about these County Courts yet."

"There's not much more, Growler, is there?
for the malaria from that horrid river has made
rue very drowsy, Growlervery."

"No, sir, there's not much now. The County
Court judges throughout the country are, I am
happy to say at present under examination on
the subject, and I am willing to leave the
solution of the question with them. They are asked
whether they are of opinion 'that a power of
imprisonment by the judge, as proposed to be
modified, should exist as a means of compelling
persons who have obtained credit to pay out of
their future earnings,' and if they should be of
opinion that such a power is advisable, then we
can only hope that the modification hinted at
will limit the period of imprisonment to something
less than that usually accord to a felony. They
are asked, 'If upon the hearing of a judgment
summons, neither the judgment creditor nor
judgment debtor appears, do you proceed to
commit the latter tor non-appearance?' ' Do
you generally give directions that the warrant
shall not issue if the debt or so many of the
instalments as may be due be paid by a certain
time?' ' Have you any rule which governs yon
as to the period* for which you commit?' ' Do
you commit a second time for the same debt?'
Having obtained satisfactory replies to these
questions," continued Growler, " we shall have
inserted the thin end of the wedge, and it will
then remain for the Legislature to drive that
instrument home. You understand, sir?"

"Oh, yes, Growler, I understand, perfectly;
it's decidedly time to be driving home."

"One word more, sir. ' Do you consider'
(the question is addressed to the County Court
Judges), 'that the credit given by travelling
drapers, packmen, and others, to the wives of
the labouring population should be discouraged,
and if so, and to what extent?' Nobody who
lives in the country, and is acquainted in the
least with country life, can entertain a moment's
doubt of the existence of the evil," said Growler,
rather indistinctly, it seemed to me. " Let the
County Court Judges speak as to the extent of
the necessary discouragement. One word more,

"Growler, I think you said that before."

"The very last," said Growler. " The
Government have already, by publication of the
interrogations above referred to, endeavoured to
discover how the law is at present administered,
and I have no doubt the Commons' House
of Parliament will take care for the future that
none but fraudulent debtors should be

I have reason to believe that Growler
continued to enlarge upon this interesting theme
for some time; that he advanced many
unanswerable arguments, and became eloquent beyond
conception. I didn't hear him. Sleep overcame



IT will be perceived that the title of this
journal, All the Year Round, is repeated at the
head of every page instead of every alternate
page, as heretofore. Our apology for this
tautology, is obedience to the Majesty of the Law.
That powerful engine is set in motion by the
18th Victoria, cap. 2, which, in its wisdom,
commands that, not only the date of each number,
but the title shall be printed at the top of every
page of every periodical, before the Post-Office
authorities can legally register it for transmission
to foreign countries and the colonies.

The Law being the perfection of human reason,
gives, as its reason for this absurdity, that the
constant repetition prevents fraud. In what
manner, or in whom, or where, or how, or why,
we are unable to divine; neither is it in the
power of the Postmaster-General to enlighten
our benighted understanding.


NOT long ago, there was a paragraph on
its travels through the English newspaper
press, headed, sometimes, "A Man in the
Stocks," and sometimes " March of Civilisation
at Midhurst." The use of the stocks never has
been formally abolished, either in England or in
Scotland; but, in Scotland this ridiculous and
barbarous machine has not been used for many
generations past. There survive, however, a few
men of the race of Shallow, among the country
justices of England, and there is nothing within
their reach senseless enough to be at the level
of their understanding that is likely to become
obsolete while they live. The disuse of the
stocks might, but for these gentlemen, have
been left to the discretion of the nation on one
side of the Tweed as. well as on the other.

Certainly we must account the Stocks an
ancient institution. It is a part even of the
wisdom of the East, and something of the des-
tiny of Englandsay, for example, the safety of
our glorious Constitutionmay be bound up in
its maintenance. More than two thousand four
hundred years ago " Pashur smote Jeremiah the
prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in
the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the
house of the Lord. And it came to pass on the
morrow that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out
of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him,
The Lord hath not called thy name Pashur, but
Magor-missabib." A picture of Ihis prophet in
the stocks was common in old Bibles. The most
ancient of books represents Job reckoning the