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This check, this galling chastisement, their insolent conceit has now received from the Vice-Chancellor. We insert the following authentic note of his judgment upon the cause.
• The Vice-Chancellor said it was impossible for him to order the Corporation, as a body, to account to the Charity for the loss it had sustained by their granting leases at reduced rents to their own burgesses, because that would be appro
priating to a particular purpose the funds of the Corporation, • which were certainly destined for other public purposes. He
regretted extremely, that when the information was drawn up,
the persons who had profited by these leases had not been « made parties to the suit; because in that case the Court could
have reached them in their individual characters as tenants,
and could have made them refund to the Charity the profits « which they had improperly derived from its estates. The
manner in which the trust had been executed, with regard to « these leases, was a most SHAMEFUL and SCANDALOUS sacrifice
of the interests of the Charity. His Honour made the following decree.—That Sir John Arundel be removed from the • office of Master of St John's Hospital; and that the offices of
Master of the Hospital, and Member of the Corporation, be • held incompatible: that it be referred to the Master to in
quire with whom the appointment of Master resides, and what
are the proper qualifications for that office; also with whom • the appointment of schoolmaster resides, and what are the
necessary qualifications: that the Master approve of a scheme . for the future management of the revenue of the hospital: that
an account of the rents and profits be taken from the filing of - this information : and that the Corporation be made to ac• count for these rents and profits since that time;—the costs of • the information to be paid by the Corporation. This order ' to be without prejudice to the relators, if they shall think pro
per to file a bill against the persons who derived benefit from • the property of the Charity. *
* The reader who is but moderately acquainted with such subjects, is at once aware of what the reasoners above alluded to do not perhaps know-that the effect of this decree is to the Charity, nearly what the disfranchisement of a borough for bribery and corruption is to the convicted delinquents. A more severe sentence never yet was pronounced in a similar case, or accompanied with stronger language on the Judge's part. We may add, that, as if to leave no part of the Committee's Report unsupported, the decree against the Corporation was immediately followed by an opposition in the borough,-a thing till then unknown. VOL. XXXIII, NO. 65.
The reader will probably agree with us in thinking, that this decree is in fact a judgment, not only upon the affairs of the Hospital and the conduct of the Corporation, but that it is in effect a sentence upon the calumnies and ignorance of those pert, flippant personages, formerly described by us, who presumed to thrust themselves into this controversy, with a stock of their own facts, larded with other men's jokes and with Law which no man can be found to acknowledge. It seems as if His Honour were at one and the same time severing the trustee from his mismanaged trust, and the Commentator from his abused office of political critie; sending him back to the place from whence, through vanity, he came; there henceforth to hang over dusty lexicons until he be dead; and to have mercy on the moderate reputation of a third-rate word-monger, which he might previously have earned through the forbearance of friends in his monkish retreat.
Here we should close our remarks, but for the strange and altogether unaccountable sally which is said to have escaped the Learned Judge whose decision we have just cited. In the course of the argument, he took occasion it seenis to interrupt the Counsel, in order to express a disapprobation of the Parliamentary Inquiry, and to say, that it had misled the public mind, producing a great deal of improper zeal and popular clamour.' Now, to all who heard this notable reflexion, it must have been matter of extreme surprise to find, that what is here termed 6 misleading,' really turned out to be telling the truth, or rather considerably under-stating it; and that, by popular clamour,' His Honour was pleased to intend the wish to have gross abuses corrected precisely by such decrees as he was then on the point of making. All who heard the remarks must have expected a decree dismissing the suit with costs, accompanied by observations very flattering to the Defendants, and reprobating the extraneous statements of the Relaters.
But, strange to tell, the Vice-Chancellor goes far beyond the Education Committee in his reprobation of the whole conduct of those Defendants; condemns them in costs as a corporation, and to refund what, as a corporation, they had received ;-while he regrets that the form of the Bill precluded him from convicting them as individuals; and suggests that separate suits be forthwith instituted against them in their private capacity.
The great inconsistency of this conduct, is as remarkable as the impropriety of any Judge censuring the proceedings of either House of Parliament. Men are daily committed for breaches of privilege, whose libels never can affect the authority of the Legislature one hundredth part so much as the sneers of
a Judge upon the Bench, where no one can reply in its defence. Sir John Leach, by the total inconsistency of his decree with his obiter dictum, indeed deprived himself of any great weight as a censor upon this occasion; but the respect in which Parliament is holden would indeed soon vanish, if Judges, from being the calm and impartial executors of its laws, were to erect themselves into critics upon its conduct, and show that they only reluctantly yield to its power, the obedience which they should pay to its authority, and the deference which they owe to its wisdom. *
Art. VII. A Treatise on Adulterations of Food, and Culinary
Poisons, exhibiting the Fraudulent Sophistications of Bread, Beer, Wine, Spirituous Liquors, &c. and Methods of detecting them. By FREDERICK ACCUM. London, Longman & Co. 1820.
IT is curious to see how vice varies its forms, and maintains its
substance, in all conditions of society ;---and how certainly those changes, or improvements as we call them, which diminish one class of offences, aggravate or give birth to another. In rude and simple communities, most crimes take the shape of Violence and Outrage—in polished and refined ones, of Fraud. Men sin from their animal propensities in the first case, and from their intellectual depravation in the second. The one state of things is prolific of murders, batteries, rapines, and burningsthe other of forgeries, swindlings, defamations, and seductions. The sum of evil is probably pretty much the same in boththough probably greatest in the civilized and enlightened stages; the sharpening of the intellect, and the spread of knowledge, giving prodigious force and activity to all criminal propensities.
Among the offences which are peculiar to a refined and enlightened society, and owe their birth, indeed, to its science and refinement, are those skilful and dexterous adulterations of the manifold objects of its luxurious consumption, to which their value and variety, and the delicacy of their preparation, hold out so many temptations; while the very skill and knowledge
* The mistake of His Honour, in saying that the Act 52 Geo. III. affords a sufficient remedy, is well known. Both the Chancellor and the late truly learned Master of the Rolls, have decided, that to the most flagrant cases of abused trusts, it has no application.-Vid. 2 Ves. & Beames 134. & Coop. Ca. Ch. 295.
which are requisite in their formation, furnish such facilities for their sophistication. The very industry and busy activity of such a society, exposes it more and more to such impostures;—and by the division of labour which takes place, and confines every man to his own separate task, brings him into a complete dependence on the industry of others for a supply of the most necessary articles. It is quite impossible that articles of daily use can be subjected to such tests as will effectually try whether or not they are adulterated with foreign ingredients. Such an analysis would, in most cases, require a very nice chemical process; and, even if it were practicable, nobody has time or patience to apply it. The honesty of the dealer, and of the original manufacturer, is therefore the only security to the public for the genuineness of the articles in which he deals. The consumer can in general know nothing of their component parts; he must take them as he finds them; and, even if he is dissatisfied, he has in general no effectual means of redress. Among a people of primitive habits, and of limited knowledge, deception would neither be easy nor profitable. It would not be worth while to cheat such a race of homely consumers out of the little which they lay out in the gratification of their simple wants. It is only in the valuable products manufactured to pamper luxury and wealth, that articles can be found which it becomes profitable to counterfeit; and it is only in a highly refined community where improvements abound, and where wealth and ingenuity are widely diffused, that fraud, finding everywhere agents ready to execute its nefarious purposes, can be prosecuted on a great scale.
It will accordingly be found, that as crimes of violence decrease with the progress of society, frauds are multiplied; and that there springs up in every prosperous country a race of degenerate traders and manufacturers, whose business is to cheat and to deceive; who pervert their talents to the most dishonest purposes, preferring the illicit gains thus acquired to the fair profits of honourable dealing; and counterworking, by their sinister arts, the general improvement of society. Every one is aware of the extensive frauds to which the modern device of paper currency has given rise; and how much talent, ingenuity and address, has been prostituted to the unworthy purpose of manufacturing, and sending into circulation, counterfeit bank notes. The practice of forgery has increased of late years to an alarming extent, even under all the terrors of the Criminal law; and the various contrivances which have, from time to time, been adopted, to render imitation difficult, and easy of detection, have been rivalled, and even outdone, by the illicit dealers in this counterfeit article. In like manner, in almost every branch of manufacture, there are fraudulent dealers, who are instigated by the thirst of gain to debase the articles which they vend to the public, and to exact a high price for what is comparatively cheap and worthless. After pointing out various deceptions of this nature, Mr Accum, the ingenious author of the work before us, proceeds in his account of those frauds in the following terms.
• The same system of adulteration extends to articles used in various trades and manufactures. For instance, linen tape, and various other household commodities of that kind, instead of being manufactured of linen thread only, are made up of linen and cotton. Colours for painting, not only those used by artists, such as ultramarine, carmine, and lake, Antwerp blue, chrome yellow, and Indian ink; but also the coarser colours used by the common house-painter, are more or less adulterated. Thus, of the latter kind, white lead is mixed with carbonate or sulphate of barytes ; vermilion with red lead.
'Soap used in house-keeping is frequently adulterated with a considerable portion of fine white clay, brought from St Stephens in Cornwall. In the manufacture of printing paper, a large quantity of plaster of Paris is added to the paper stuff, to increase the weight of the manufactured article. The selvage of cloth is often dyed with a permanent colour, and artfully stitched to the edge of cloth dyed with a fugitive dye. The frauds committed in the tanning of skins, and in the manufacture of cutlery and jewellery, exceed belief.' pp. 27-29.
What is infinitely worse, however, than any of those frauds, sophistications, we are informed, are carried on to an equal extent in all the essential articles of subsistence or comfort. So long as our dishonest dealers do not intermeddle with these things, their deceptions are comparatively harmless; the evil in all such cases amounting only to so much pecuniary damage. But when they begin to tamper with food, or with articles connected with the table, their frauds are most pernicious : In all cases the nutritive quality of the food is injured, by the artificial ingredients intermixed with it; and when these ingredients, as frequently happens, are of a poisonous quality, they endanger the health and even the life of all to whom they are vended. We cannot conceive any thing more diabolical than those contrivances; and we consider their authors in a far worse light than ordinary felons, who, being known, can be duly guarded against. But those fraudulent dealers conceal themselves under the fair show of a reputable traffic—they contrive in this manner to escape the infamy which justly belongs to them--and, under the disguise of wealth, credit, and character, to lurk in the bosom of society, wounding the hand that cherishes them, and scattering around them poison and death.
It is chiefly for the purpose of laying open the dishonest ar