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J? O "W 1ST TALK.

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J? O "W 1ST TALK. BY OUB LONDON CORRESPONDENT. Our readers will understand that we do not hold ourselves responsible for our able correspondent1 s opinions. CRIMINALS have not been lucky lately. A few years ago there were a number of timid judges and juries who let off altogether, or compromised deadly crimes, by secondary verdicts. Judges and juries have become more just, that is, more careful of the lives of innocent people than of the comfort of villainous assassins. But we have seldom had so straightforward a aumming up as that, or such plain speaking in passing sentence, as in the case of the wholesale poisoner, Mrs. Catherine Wilson, tried before Mr. Justice Byles. She was tried and convicted entirely on circumstantial evidence, of poisoning her landlady, although no poison was found in the tortured victim's body. She poisoned her with physic colchicum, which cures the gout, and an over-dose produces nearly all the symptoms of cholera. She was convicted because the jury had no doubt that she had also robbed her victim, forged a letter to her, and told lies about the cause of her death. The Judge summed for a conviction with a directness unusual in these tender-hearted days, and told the jury, what it is well should be known, that it is not necessary that poison should be found in the body to convict a prisoner, if the other evidence be sufficient. When the jury had found the wretch guilty, the Judge spoke out and told the jury and the public that this was the eighth case in which there was reason to suspect Mrs. Wilson of poisoning. In 1853-4 her master, in Boston, made a will in her "favour, and he died ,soon after, with symptoms of over-doses of poison. In 1856 she, no doubt, poisoned a man who was living with her. In 1859 a friend of hers, a Mrs. Jackson, drew £120 out of the bank, and died of something like cholera. The money was never found, but a note of hand in the names of two persons not to be heard of was found, and since proved to be a forgery by Mrs. Wilson. In 1860 she poisoned a Mrs. Atkinson, who lodged with her, after robbing her. In 1861 she poisoned a man who lived with her. In 1862 she was ac- quitted for poisoning a woman with sulphuric acid. In all these cases she hung tenderly over her patients and treated them with the greatest ap- parent affection. By two persons she was suspected, but they were more afraid of being called as wit- nesses than anxious to bring an assassin to justice. This woman had no conscience. She was calm to the last. Yet there are people to be found weak enough to pity and spare her. In Scotland they are getting up an agitation to save the life of a woman who took the clothes of a murdered woman, the plate out of the house where the murder was committed, and systematically went to work to destroy her own clothes, stained with the blood "of her murdered friend. The defence, that an old man of ninety, a witness at the trial, committed the murder, and that the woman only concealed it and took the money to pay her debts. The judge and jury may have been wrong in acquitting the old man, but certainly they could not have been wrong in convicting the only person who profited by the crime. The ex-M.P. and member for Lambeth, who was convicted the other day of forgery, and sentenced to transportation for life, took up the position of a sort of Eugene Aram in the dock, and made a long speech, with what meaning it is impossible to understand. He says he began his forgeries to pay for books. That he was not a libertine, a gambler, or a wastrel. Well, then, what did he do with two hundred thousand pounds? This is certain—he spent all the money he could lay his hands on in the shortest possible time, and he has now consented to be be converted into a felon for life, in order that his brother may drag from the people the estates, the purchase money of which he has spent. Roupell is a para- dox no doubt a paradox with rascality at both ends of the argument. The last royal wedding—that of the boy King of Portugal to the child daughter of the King of Italy-has been a valuable subject for the writers of fashionable gossip. By close examination, it is discovered that the bride of fifteen, who has just given up her dolls, is a very tall and as fully developed as an English girl of eighteen, with a stately gait, a very plain face, like her father, and red hair. One wonders what the King of Portugal, who is only eighteen, will say to the choice of his ministers. Boys generally like pretty faces, and it is not until later in life that a fine figure is considered to compensate for a 0 turn-up nose and mouth of unseemly dimensions. It is impossible to help pitying this poor child, the last sacrifice to the progress of Italy, crying over her doll at the fear of being tied to a man she had never seen and yet it will probably turn out as well as most royal marriages. The Doncaster Races have given a heavy blow to pedigree. Tim Whiffler, a light and pretty little horse, without any illustrious blood in his veins, has, on every occasion that he has had the chance, beaten all the best connected horses of his year, and at Doncaster vanquished the second for the St. Leger in the race for the cup with the greatest ease, so that there is no doubt but that this obscure bred horse is the best horse of the day. Every year sweeps away some celebrated metro- politan edifice. The other day Blackfriars Bridge and the Queen's Prison were both con- demned, and will disappear before the close of 1863. Now St. Thomas's Hospital is offered for sale for shops and offices; and in the same week, the chambers and gardens formerly sacred to doctors of civil law and the courts, are now con- centrated in Sir Cresswell Cresswell's summary jurisdiction. There are signs in the political atmosphere that next session will not be so calm as the last. Mr. Samuel Laing, lately Chancellor of the Exchequer for India, evidently means mischief. He will have the support of Lord Stanley on Indian matters; and many others will be glad to have a I dig at Sir Charles Wood's fluent self-conceit. If Mr. Laing's health holds out, he will be a very awkward customer, for he knows something about subjects in which the public take an interest. Having lost our American market, we cannot afford to neglect the splendid resources of India. The promoters of schemes seem mad on hotels there are half-a-dozen in the market with the oddest names as directors. A good many will find themselves a day after the fair; an Exhibition will not take place every year. The latest absurdity is a scheme for an hotel close to the Horticultural Gardens. Let all who think of visiting the Exhibition lose no time the rains and fogs have made their appearance, and Brompton is not nice on a damp day. Z.Z.

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