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would nevertheless appear to be a doubtful mercy to clear our streets and garrets of distressed women by
means of partial emigration subscriptions, with no attendant precaution against an immediate supply of
still larger numbers to run the same course of wretchedness. The enormous preponderance of the
female over the male population in London is attributable to those tempting opportunities of employment
existing in a great city, which lure so many girls to London with utter inability to resist its
snares, with the laxity of morals that is more or less the result of country breeding, and with no pleasing
memory connected with the squalid homes they have left to aid in keeping them within the ways of virtue.
Such remedies do but film the ulcerous place, leaving the more grievous malady to fester unseen. What
has been the growth of the neglect of centuries cannot be removed by the activity of a few earnest months
or years. The people must be educated, and their homes improved. More appalling even than the cases
which reveal depths of bodily destitution, are those which now and then disclose the more startling depths
of mental ignorance and neglect concealed beneath our hollow shows of civilisation.

On the proposed swearing at Guildhall of a crossing-sweeper lad of fourteen, to witness an assault,
we had not many days ago one of these appalling revelations. The boy looked so amazed on taking "the
Book," that the worthy Alderman was moved to question him on his moral condition; whereupon it appeared
that he did not know what an oath was, that he did not know what a New Testament was, that he could
not read, that he had never said his prayers, that he did not know what prayers were, that he did not know
what God was, that though he had heard of the Devil he did not know him, and that in fact all he knew was
how to sweep the crossing; while manifestly prominent among the things he did not know, was how to
speak other than the truth. The latter was not the inference, however, of the worthy magistrate; he did
not recognise the excellent soil, only barren because no seed had been sown there; but straightway, after
lamenting over the deplorable ignorance of the unfortunate child, he rejected his evidence peremptorily as that
of a creature who knew nothing whatever of the obligation to tell the truth. Now, admitting to its fullest
extent the brutal and lamentable ignorance which knew nothing out of the world or in the world
except to sweep the crossing, it is also clear that the ignorance extended equally to the arts of subterfuge,
dissimulation, and false pretences; and that this boy's evidence was refused by the magistrate simply
because he did not know how to feign that he did know. Against himself, or rather against society to which
the shame belongs, he had borne true testimony; and therefore his testimony in regard to others was to be
excluded. The magistrate is not to be blamed; the magisterial decision was strictly in accordance with the
practice of English jurisprudence: but it is surely high time to fling down such ridiculous barriers of custom
and prejudice, stumbling-blocks to truth as they must always be; and, taking whatever evidence is proffered,
quantum valeat, leave the judge and jury to discover the precise amount of value.

Another, and very different kind of examination, going on almost concurrently in one of the superior
courts (that of a witness in a trial for forgery), elicited a series of facts as little credible, and quite as
disgraceful. Imagine a young gentleman, bearing her Majesty's commission, ordering diamond rings one
day, and taking the diamonds out of their settings and exchanging them for money the next. Conceive
the same creditor being paid (with, of course, enormous deduction), by what he had himself supplied
not many days before. Imagine one creditor supplying the jewellery one month, by which another creditor
was paid the next month. Fancy a grown young man, of three or four and twenty, gravely deposing,
in a court of justice, that it was his habit to take rubies and diamonds out of their settings "partly to
amuse himself by weighing them, and partly to see how they looked out of their settings," protesting at the
same time, that of what became of the settings he knew nothing. The trial ended in a verdict of forgery;
the victim forged upon being this ingenuous youth; and one cannot help marvelling much that the task of
swindling such a gentleman should have involved anything so troublesome or dangerous as forgery. Mischief
is too precious a thing to be wasted, as Jonathan Wild remarks; and never does forgery appear to have been
so thrown away as upon Lieutenant Clements. It was only to ask and have. It was an ordinary thing for
him to be satisfied with £250 in exchange for a bill for £500; and while almost all his dealings were by means
of jewellery, he gravely assured the Court, that he knew nothing whatever of its value. Moreover, his
memory, under examination, never amounted to more than an "impression." The crossing-sweeper boy
knew everything of what he did not know, while the lieutenant of dragoons knew nothing of what he did
know. The one had used his opportunities to, at least, the extent of his means; the other had thrown
away everything, means, opportunities, and friends. If the evidence of the one was rejected utterly, should
the evidence of the other have been implicitly received?

One final word must be given to a case of too frequent occurrence, and too vital importance to large
classes of unprotected and unfriended people, not to deserve active sympathy. A melancholy catastrophe
of fire at sea has re-opened the question often discussed as to the proper equipment of emigration ships.
There can be no question that the Caleb Grimshaw was neither provided nor commanded as she ought to
have been, and that such boats as she had, at the best quite insufficient for a service of real danger, were in
no condition for use at the time of the accident. Some compulsory means should be found of furnishing
every such ship with boats fit to carry large numbers in the heaviest sea, and of making it part of the daily
duty of seamen (proverbially negligent in such matters) to keep them always in a state for launching and
for instant use.

NARRATIVE OF POLITICS.

THE Irish residents in Manchester and Salford held a
public meeting on the 3rd, in the Corn Exchange, to
present an address to Mr. John Bright, M.P., thanking
him for the manner in which he had Advocated the
Claims of Ireland.  Mr. Bright spoke at much length,
describing the manner in which the land of Ireland is
closed against the industry of its people through its legal
possession by an alien or insolvent proprietary; and
indicating the measures which he would advise for the
redemption of Ireland. The measures which he enumerated
included abolition of primogeniture for undevised
property, and restrictions on its devise to lives not in
being; registry of property; reduction of the enormous
charges for stamps for the sale and purchase of land;
security of tenure for the practical cultivators of the soil;
abolition of the Established Church in Ireland; extension
of the suffrage; and reinforcement of the representation
in the Imperial Parliament. He exhorted the intelligent
and upright men of Ireland to come forth from
their isolation, and claim the aid of the English people
in forcing upon the government proper measures for
their country. "I look," he said, "to the opening of
parliament with intense interest. We are ignorant
of what the government is about to doof what Lord

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