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this put the right of the press to act as a volunteer tribunal for the trial of all offences upon a legal footing-subject of course to the opinion of a jury that the matters alleged by the writer were true, and that their publication was beneficial to the public. It is upon this footing that the writer now rests, except as regards libels of a seditious or blasphemous character. With respect to them, it seems that even in the present day truth would be no justification, but the old rule would apply.

Thus much for libel regarded as a crime. There is not much difference between the crime and the civil injury, except on the point of the effect of the truth of the matter complained of in respect to the right to recover damages. There are, however, one or two other points which may be noticed before we come to this. The law of verbal slander, regarded as a civil injury, is very singular at first sight. Yet, though open to just exception in one or two points, its peculiarities are due rather to the real difficulty of the question than to any defect on the part of the legislator. It is obvious, on the one hand, that mere abuse ought not to be the subject of an action, and on the other, that serious slanders should; and to draw the line between the two definitely enough for practical purposes is no easy matter. In early times the judges fluctuated between the fear of encouraging litigation and that of encouraging slander, till they produced a set of precedents as astonishing as any to be met with in the whole range of the law. One of the curious entertainments in the nature of high jinks which took place in old times at the Northern Circuit bar mess was an Amabæan dialogue between two learned gentlemen, in language which had been held to be not actionable. Considerable parts of it were not exactly fit for republication. We will try to give a specimen of the less offensive parts.

"A. You poisoned C. I don't say he is dead.

"B. You ran away from your captain. I don't say you were pressed. "A. I charge you with felony.

"B. You were in Newgate for a highwayman.

"A. You smell of the robbery of C. You are a cheat, and stole two bonds from me.

"B. You stole my corn.

"A. You stole the iron bars out of my window.

"B. You stole Lord Derby's deer.

"A. You are forsworn.

"B. You, being a justice of the peace, are a bloodsucker, and will take a couple of capons.

"A. You, being a justice of the peace, are a rascally villain, and keep a company of thieves and traitors to do mischief.

"B. You are a beetle-headed justice, an ass, a coxcomb, &c. "A. And you are a vermin, a corrupt man, and a hypocrite."

The dialogue might be continued almost ad infinitum by any two gentlemen who chose to refer to Comyn's Digest, and great part of it would be very much more picturesque than decent.

With respect to the effect of the truth of the matters charged upon the right to recover damages for any slander, verbal or written, and also with respect to the definition of malice, there is a marked difference between the crime and the civil injury. Speaking broadly, proof of the truth of the matter complained of has always been regarded for a great length of time as a complete answer to a claim for damages, inasmuch as a man is held to be entitled only to a reputation founded on truth; so that the publication of the truth about him may be a crime as against the State, but can be no injury to him. On the other hand, proof that a man has said or written of another that which, being libellous, was not true, has been held to entitle the plaintiff to damages, however good the intention of the defendant may have been, except in certain excepted cases; for your good intentions are no reason why you should damage the character to which I have a right. The excepted cases are those in which it is thought expedient for carrying on the business of life that persons should be protected who make false statements to the disadvantage of others under an honest and reasonable belief in their truth. Such statements are described as privileged, and the occasions on which they are made are said to rebut the presumption of malice. In other and simpler words, men who attack each other's characters falsely are not excused by an honest belief of the truth of what they say, except in certain cases. In a popular sketch like this it will be needless to enumerate the cases in question. The case of giving a servant's character is the illustration most commonly given; and it would not be very incorrect to say, in general terms, that wherever there is a moral duty incumbent on a man to give advice or to state an opinion which may be to the disadvantage of another, a mistake as to a matter of fact will not expose him to an action if it is made honestly. The peculiar interest of the case of Hunter v. Sharpe, to which we referred at the beginning of this article, is that, if it is good law, it most unquestionably recognizes what to Lord Ellenborough and Lord Kenyon would have appeared the monstrous and intolerable heresy that a journalist is under a moral duty to criticize his neighbours; and that if in doing so he exercises reasonable skill, and writes with proper moderation on the facts as he apprehends them, he is not responsible for honest mistakes. This certainly does carry the theory of privileged writing to a length to which we do not think it has ever been carried before, though the doctrine in question was contended for unsuccessfully in the case of Campbell v. Spottiswoode, in which an action was brought and damages were recovered by Dr. Campbell against the Saturday Review for making imputations on him which the jury found to be false; though they also found that the reviewer honestly believed them to be true, and though they might very probably have found, if they had been asked, that Dr. Campbell's conduct in the matter which was the subject of the libel had been such as to suggest to the reviewer the conclusion which he did honestly draw from that conduct. The result of the case of Hunter v. Sharpe was

a verdict for the plaintiff, with a farthing damages, and this practically put a stop to further litigation on the subject; for the plaintiff could not set aside a verdict which was found in his favour; and the defendant could not complain of a misdirection (if such it was) which was favourable to him, though the verdict was not. The question thus remains open for future discussion, but the journalists have on their side an argument more than they had before this case was decided. If the matter be viewed as one of policy and not of law, it certainly does seem hard that if people are practically allowed and encouraged to make a profession of discussing every kind of conduct and sitting in judgment on every sort of reputation, they should not be at liberty to suggest any conclusion whatever as to conduct or character which the facts before them reasonably suggest. If the facts are such that a rational man, honestly considering them, might naturally come to the conclusion that A. B. is an impostor, why may he not honestly state the facts and boldly avow the conclusion which he draws, without the fear of an action before his eyes if he happens in point of fact to be mistaken? It is perhaps natural in a public writer to overlook what might be said on the other side; and on the other hand it must be owned that it certainly is hard that I should be liable to be falsely accused of any offence which a volunteer accuser may honestly but erroneously suppose me to have committed, and that when I have established my innocence I may nevertheless have to pay my accuser's costs because of his good intentions. Not that we mean to apply this observation to the particular case referred to in this article.

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A HEAVY storm of wind and rain and snow had kept us prisoners all day, and we had nearly exhausted our resources. The stove in the little salon could not be lighted, on account of the smoke; and even with the piano (which is a very good one), the most ardent musician could not have supported life there for many hours if he were to be entirely dependent on the warmth of his feelings for any extra amount of caloric. The great sallea-manger was still in process of preparation for the season, and damp with premonitory scrubbings. There remained the stube and the cafe. In the latter apartment we had spent many hours, and found them somewhat tedious. The clouds were low in the valley, and there was no view. We had read through the last pile of serials and papers from England. We had written our journals; had painted numberless small studies of wild-flowers, with mosses, leaves, and branches of wood and stones grey and golden with lichens, much to the astonishment of the kellnerin, who, when E. challenged her admiration for her handful of treasures, said, "Ah, yes, she noticed that the foreigners cared for sticks; as for her, she saw so many pieces of wood, she was accustomed to them."

We had the great hotel almost to ourselves, and had taken vigorous exercise in the large unfurnished rooms, and up and down the passages, and still the pitiless snow fell, and the wind blew, rattled against the windows, and shook the jalousies, making us humble and imploring as to the matter of fuel, in which we considered ourselves somewhat stinted. Half frozen, and sighing for real summer and warmth, we appealed to

Frau Gredig in the choicest German, explaining our sufferings;-that we, delicate English, were not accustomed to reside in ice-houses, to be frozen to the floors, to warm ourselves over the eggs at breakfast, and live through the afternoons on the thought of securing a little steam from the urn at tea. "Feel our hands, madame, and see how we suffer!"

Frau Gredig had not a bad heart. For a moment, as she took the suffering fingers into her maternal grasp, her countenance relaxed, a gleam of compassion shone in her eye, and a cry for more fuel trembled on her lips; but second thoughts proved safest. With a vigorous rub she

administered present consolation and a valuable moral truth.

"It is not the fault of the climate that you suffer, Fräulein. I am not cold; my sister is not cold; and why? We run about from morning till night. My head and my hands are full. We have to think and plan, and

do for you all, and—ach mein Gott, sind wir nicht warm genug ?"

Driven from all hope of external comfort, we evolved heat from our internal consciousness, and warmed ourselves by the brilliancy of our own imaginations. D. and C. had conceived a wonderful thought. We would utilize the snow. We would plan a day of delights to be realized from it, the very thought of which would cause every flake that fell to be hailed with jubilations. We would make a grand schlitten partie to the Bernina Pass. A messenger was sent to summon Walther, and we all eagerly discussed preliminaries.

Bartholome Walther, one of the pleasantest guides in Switzerland, and a capital one for ladies, had been with us as a sort of travellingservant for some weeks past during our wanderings in Tyrol, and, though now off duty, was still considered as belonging, in a semi-attached fashion, to our party. He lived in one of the large houses forming the main-street of the little Pontresina village, which, as it is a fair type of the homes of the people, may be worth a word or two of description. On the ground-floor was a small shop, a stable for cows and horses, a dairy well stocked, a large dark entrance-hall, roughly paved, with the usual arched wooden doors, a staircase leading to a hay-loft, where a bergwagen was stowed away, (how they got their carriages there I could never tell, but you invariably found them on the first floor,) and a pleasant little stube or living-room, wainscoted with wood, built like a nest into the great stone and plaster erection, the deep setting of the window, gay with flowering plants and shrubs, showing how great the cold must be in winter, and somewhere under the eaves no doubt a little colony of sleeping-rooms, into which we did not penetrate. It is a sort of home farm; everything is stored under the one roof, and when the long dark winter days set in the women's work at least may be done under shelter. Madame Walther, a pleasant-faced, soft-voiced woman, always made us very welcome, and she and her little daughter were proud to show their pans of rich cream and stores of butter. "Nine months of winter and three of bad weather," say the Engadine peasants. They are wise, certainly, to gather all they

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