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that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that the deceased came to a violent end: still less to show that his wife was the guilty cause of the death. The rude judicial system employed served to increase, and not allay alarm : it made a woman a criminal without proving her to be guilty ; and thus taught the people to feel, that not only were they exposed to the assaulls of the wrongdoer, but also liable to incur even greater harm, from the very means intended for their protection. (4)
1) We have purposely avoided all allusion to certain extraordinary circumstances which tend to cast great suspicion on the mother of the deceased. The one hypothesis which we have suggested, is quite sufficient to make apparent the danger of the couclusion adopted by the jury. Our chief object being in fact to point out the still greater danger resulting from the means taken to gain that verdict.
James Inkpen was the confidential clerk of the highly respectable firm of Squeezer, Shirk, and M.Quibble, appearing in the Law List annually as duly-certificated attorneys, located in Raymond's Buildings, Gray's Inn. The adage says, « Nemo repente fuit turpissimus, n-—which, being interpreted, means, w it takes five years to make an attorney, » as some wag of ancient days rendered it ; and though Jemmy had long since filled this lustrum as a limb of the law, ştill by some occult process, - known and valued alone by «gents., &c.," Inkpen never rose to the dignity of a certificate ; in fact, he was nothing more nor less than the confidential clerk.
For nearly a dozen years sleadily, punctually, and diligently, did James Inkpen attend to the dull routine of a lawclerk's duty. Wet or dry, hail, rain, fog, sunshine, showery, or fair, he was as reckless of the weather as the most desperate disbeliever in the prophetic powers of Murphy. His post was his desk, and no jockey ever made for the post with greater, more certain and assured steadiness than did Inkpen for his seat of dignity as «Chancery-clerk, and confidential ditto, " in the middle room in the offices of the «respectable , firm above-mentioned. Jemmy was a man of small
to ih "y, famPortant,
stature and of sharp features. He was of remarkably .placid temperament, and never was known to have exhibited any disturbance of mind, save on two occasions ; once when he found, by the mangle-marks in the fob of a pair of ducks,» that a sovereign which he carefully concealed therein upon the principle of the Vicar of Wakefield's daughter's guinea, « to have, but not to spend, - had been unfairly appropriated by either his laundress or her mangle-woman, or both. The damning fact, that the impress of the George and Dragon which the calico presented, did not move them to repentance and restoration of the coin, caused Jemmy's indignation to become rife in the extreme. The second occasion was, when in a fit of abstractedness he lit his pipe at a meeting of his club, «The Knights of the Blue Plume," with the memoranda of an important affidavit, which he was to get a certain worthy, famous for supplying deficiencies in evidence, to swear to the next morning. With the exception of these two cases, we have every reason to believe that Ink pen bad 'hitherto passed through life and its alternations of pleasure and pain comfortably..
In fact, he was a happy 'man ; he had one hundred and fifty pounds per annum - sal., " as he abbreviated it; the implicit confidence of his . respectable » employers ; the friend. ship, that is to say, the deferential subserviency of the other clerks from the fact of his being the cashier, and the general good-will of all with whom he had business, from his unaffected disposition to be obliging and civil. But, though Jemmy voted himself, and, moreover, was voted by all his acquaintance, «a good sort of fellow, . still there was wanting, as he felt (at times acutely), a something to complete the measure of his felicity ; and when : Joe Spriggins, Past Noble Grand of the Blue-Plume Knights, and common-law clerk to Diddle'm & Co., used to pump out in a cracked voice the line of Moore's murdered ditty, ! ! But oh! there is something more exquisite still,, Inkpen would every Saturday evening remove his yard of clay from his lips, throw himself back in his chair, turn up his
plicit confide per annum · sal., man, he had one hu
eyes, make his middle-finger do duty as a tobacco-stopper, heave a deep sigh, and finish the display of feeling by convulsively drinking off the residium of fourpenn'orth of gin warm, which so invigorated him, that, amidst the din of hammering, bravoing, applauding, he could muster up the power to tell « the waiter, » ere he left the room, in a demistentorian strain, to bring him 1 another go."
The fact was, Inkpen felt it was time that he had a « Mrs. I.: " he felt the necessity of perpeluating the dynasty of the Inkpens, and ere it was too late, · ere he fell into the sere and yellow leaf, » he determined upon committing matrimony, and, eschewing all stale bachelor-comforts, boldly to dash into the beatitudes which belong to the life of a Benedict. Nor was he long after he had come to this resolution in making his selection. A prim damsel,' of neat attire, once honoured Jemmy by accepting half the shelter of his gingham in a summer's sudden evening 'storm. She was a dress-maker of some talent, and was • well to do. » He was fortunate in protecting her, for she had a flimsy ball-dress under her arm, which would have been spoilt by the sudden torrent that poured down, but for his timely aid. «What great effects from little causes spring, ut-this act of attention won her heart; and when she revealed the fact of her frequenting Dr. Thumpcushion's chapel, under whom she sat, every succeeding Sunday evening found Jemmy a «decidedly pious » attendant close by the side of Miss Juliana Fipps. We say nothing about their moonlight rambles in the romantic locality of Kennington Common,--(Inkpen lodged in Lambeth Walk, where also, did the divine Juliana wield 'her needle) or the numerous delicious tête-à-têtes they had in certain arbours, over brownpainted tables, 'in certain places of public resort yclept teagardens--we believe because they afford accommodation for smokers and porter-drinkers. Suffice il 'to say, the course of their true love did run most smooth, and in the month of May, 1842, « last past, » the ultimatum and definitive treaty of alliance for life was agreed upon, to be signed, sealed, and delivered, between James' Inkpen, bachelor,' on the one part,
and Juliana Fipps, spinster, on the other, in the presence of the rector of St. Mary, Lambeth, on such a day.
It was observed by every knight of the « Blue Plume," that on the Saturday evening near the end of May, Jemmy Inkpen was particularly jocose—a rise in spirits which was in some degree attributed to a display of opulence and generosity not exactly reconcilable with his previous habits. He was noticed to have ordered half-a-dozen cigars and insisted upon standing “goes round,“ laughed at everything within fifty degrees of a joke, and wilh a still stronger, and more commendable spirit of pleasantry, broke out into a hearty gufaw when the rest of his associates were merely meditating merriment.
As Jemmy wended his way home, he could not refrain from rubbing his hands, rejoicing within himself, and, as the moon shone beautiful and bright, beaming over the surface of the broad Thames, he thought he would walk down to the river's edge, and contemplate in romantic gratification for a few minutes the beauteous orb, as it cast its glow over the sacred edifice, which in the morning would be the spot whereat his future happiness or misfortune would be sealed. Placing his back to the wooden paling, he regarded the venerable palace with feelings of awe, and letting his eye fall upon the church of St. Mary adjacent, he involuntarily exclaimed,
« Ah! to-morrow-to-morrow! there my fate will be sealed; and, by the blessing of Heaven, it shall be the happiest day of my life.”
He had hardly ultered this exclamation, when a voice struck upon his ear, and the words, clearly and slowly enunciated, « Don'T BE TOO SURE ! » rang through his brain. Inkpen started, trembling, and cast a hurried glance around ; but saw nothing save the shadow, as he imagined, of a crouching body stealing along the Palace walls. For a moment he was fixed to the spot, and a cold sweat came over him. After waiting a minute or two to regain his composure (for he was no coward), he rallied, and laughing at his fancy, walked slowly home, occasionally turning to see if he was followed, forgetful of all, his mind being solely filled with the blissful anticipation