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SLIPS FOR SYMONS.
SLIPS FOR SYMONS. Mr. Symons has already given a public intimation that his views in reference to the utility of a knowledge of the Welsh language have undergone a change of no incon- siderable magnitude. The language whose annihilation he so ardently desired a few months ago, he now Endea- vours to acquire, with all the warmth of an enthusiast. This fact is suggestive of lessons, the most important and instructive, and to which by your permission, Mr. Editor, I may call the attention of your readers in an early number of your paper. Mr. Symons' conversion was not effected without instrumentality, and as means have already proved successful, to a really wonderful extent, we have a strong encouragement to persevere in our efforts to rectify his views, and perhaps in due season we shall be rewarded by a second edition of his report with apologetic notes and con- siderable emendations. As his present researches are prin- cipally concerned with Wales, it can do him no manner of harm to be occasionally presented with a few facts in reference to the morality of his own country. It will at least assist him rightly to estimate comparative merits. s- In a meeting h'icl_\ hi Id, Sir E. Buxton referred to a report in which the following statement appears relative to a place called. Phinitree-coiirt, upon Holborn hill:- On the occupation of this district by the mission, the mission- ary appointed to it ascertained, that although in Piumtree-court there were but thirty houses, these -contained 153 families, three or four families living frequently in a single room of a house. D- rittiketiness, swearing, and vice of almost every description were luxuriant and unchecked. Few of the adults could even read, and of the 175 children under 14 years of age, not more than -thirty attended any school, until the missionary recently esta- Ibiished a ragged school." The Church permitted this vice to grow up and fester under Its very nostrils, whilst its wealth was appropriated to swell the worldly pomps and pleasures of its dignitaries. In the aristocratic localities of Grosvenor and Manchester- squares, there are two courts, Orchard's-place and Gray's- buildings, the condition of which Is thus described:- They contain forty-nine houses, which by a recent investiga- tion of a missionary were found to be inhabited by about 600 families, consisting of no fewer than 1,757 persons. The dis- gusting scenes witnessed on exploring these forty-nine houses cannot be told. Of the 1,757 persons remaining in them, 1,274 were adu!ts, of whom 484 could not read, only 14 attended Protestant worship, and but every few possessed the Scriptures. Their ignorance was extreme. One woman, for instance, when asked whether Ueacen or Hell was the better place, replied, She supposed Hell.' These fact are deplorable in the extreme, and they cannot but mdve and grieve every man who feels for the welfare of his race they are cited not as a matter of exultation, but simply to keep the calumniators of our country, morals, and religion within bounds, when next they shall feelinclincd to exercise their fancy in caricaturing the state of other people. 'With undisturbed consciousness of superiority, we &ay, physician heal thyself." D.
MURDERING BY LAW. |
MURDERING BY LAW. THIRD LETTER. TO THE YOUTHFUL READERS OF THE PRINCIPALITY. What is man born for but to be a reformer ? "—EMEBSOX. MY YOUNG FRIENDS,—Having briefly addressed you in my last letter on the arguments generally advanced for capi- tal punishments, I will now lead your thoughts to some of the cruelties practised in ages gone by, and especially to the laws —the sanguinary and unnatural laws-by which monsters with steeled hearts attempted to satiate their murderous pro- pensities, and to slake their fiendish thirst in streams of blood. You who are young can scarcely form the most faint idea of the bloody nature of the laws in operation, some thirty years ago. Men and women were continually luing up like carcases on the shambles; not merely for murders, but also for robberies, for forgery, for frauds, for stealing a sheep, or an article of clothing Formerly a local law existed in York- shire, which gave power to the magistrates to hang all onen- ders, pilfering to the amount of thirteen pence halfpenny from the manufacturers of that district; and many executions took place during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, for that species of petty larceny. Thus the life of man, which, in the estimation of our blessed Saviour, is of more value than the whole world, was sacrificed at Halifax for thirteen pence halfpenny. It is astonishing how the clergy (a wise race of people in all generations) contrived to find means to escape the cruelties practised in ancient times, and to secure to themselves a strict immunity from the severity of penal laws. And to do justice to their far-sightedness, they not only devised plans to insure safety to themselves, but they found out means to enrich their monkisji institu- tions by throwing the doors of their monasteries open as places of refuge for those who could bring a large amount of property with them, though guilty of the worst description of crimes. Before the dissolution of those houses—misnamed religious—it might with great propriety have been said, that sinners of the deepest dye found a very safe sanctuary at the horns of the altar, under the wings of Mother Church. It was no uncommon thing, when popery was rampant and ec- clesiastics in the ascendancy, for the clergy to make public compensation for the murders they committed. Though they called themselves the followers of the meek and lowly-Jesus, and the successors of the Apostles, their conduct very fre- quently was anything but characterised by a lamb-like spirit. When a priest or a deacon murdered a felio .v-bemg, his abso- lution was granted for twenty clowns but when a bishop or an abbot stained his holy hands with the blood of man, the compensation demanded was not less than ten pounds. I shall not attempt to lead your minds back, even to glance at the very barbarous customs that prevailed amongst the abori- gines of these isles; as the chaotic history of the times, pre- vious to the arrival of the Romans amongst our ancestors, 'seems to be lost in the mist of legendary tales, and in the confu- sion of statements very ill supported by indubitable testimonies; nor would I wish to join issue with those who seem to think that we ought to discard all the records of those ancient times, be- cause they are handed down interspersed with so many legends, and so deeply tinged with the superstition and the wild poetical imaginations of the old Brythoniaid. Those bardic effusions were designed to be the records of many undeniable facts; but who can select the chaff from the wheat? Let us then proceed on tangible ground, and advert to a few facts, in the mass of British history, which will give us some idea of the cruelties practised, in days of yore, under the sanction of mo- narchs, and by the high authority of law. ft was between anno Domini 70 and 80, that Agricola, commander of the 20 th legion, from Rome, introduced the laws of his country into this, with any alterations and additions he thought pro- per to suit the circumstances of his newly conquered terri- tory. But those were the laws of a despotic dictator—a sol- dier in the full flush of victory. It could not have been ex- pected that much of the attribute of mercy should be found commingled with them. The Anglo-Saxon Ina also compiled a code of laws, that suited his taste and times, and especially to suit the hordes of barbarians which he had to govern. But it remained for Alfred the Great, the wisest ot Saxon mo- narchs, to make very considerable, if not the greatest, improve- ments ever made by individual efforts in the legal institutions of this country. It is reported of this judicious legislator, that he took the laws of the Trojans, the Greeks, the Romans, the Britons, the Saxons, and Danes, for the purpose of select- ing the best portions of them, to compile a code of laws for his subjects. The state of legal administration, and what was misnamed justice, at the commencement of Alfred's reign may be conjectured from the fact, that 44 judges of the land were executed in one year, for thair outrageous viola- tion of all legal restraints! Alfred found it very difficult to find men able to read his laws after he had made them; and such was the state of education in his days, that he was left with- out many amongst the clergy that could teach the people. It is stated, that, at one time, Alfred returned public thanks to the Almighty, that he was able to procure a few bishops that were able to read, and to impart instructions to his igno- rant subjects. This wonderful man instituted a large number of legal enactments, between the years 886 and 893. lie died Oct. 27, 901, in the 52nd year of his age, having reigned 29 years and six months. To this king is ascribed the insti- tution of trial by jvi'-y—-a noble thought! The process of trying a man by twelve individual, selected for the purpose from amongst his peers, IS certarnly one of the finest ideas that ever entered the mind of a legislator. Soon after the days of Alfred, many, of the most sanguinary laws were enacted; especially by Edmund and by Henry the First, when capital punishments became very common, as they were extended to robbery and coinage. Before the institution of trial by jury, many hundreds were put to death, because they could not pass the ordeal of fire, water, hot iron, &c.; but William the Conqueror took his sponge and wiped those odious enactments from the statute-book. Some time afterwards King John revived those b irbarous customs, as he found that they were highly venerated by his Saxon subjects. In the reign of Edward the Third, that amazing law was made, declaring it felony to steal a hawk; and further, if any person would destroy the eggs of that bird, even on his own lands, the prison was to be his destiny for twelve months and a day." Henry the Fourth has the unenviable notoriety of making a law to burn heretics; and in the next reign, that noble reformer, Lord Cobham was condemned, and hung up in chains, and roasted till he died, in St. Giles in the Fields, in London, 1417. In that century, several modes of punishments were practised, which arebJo sickening to be particularised, such as divers mutilations, different methods of burning, roasting, and boil- ing the poor sufferers that fell under the clutches of unna- tural laws, and into the hands of more unnatural monsters, who styled themselves judges, bishops, lords and kings. Henry the Eighth enacted that his proclamation, or an order in council, should suffice for the burning of heretics, without the tedious. process of parliamentary 6 acts. The history of his daughter, the' blood-thirsty Mary, is too well known to need one observation; and though her sister has been lauded to the skies as the spotless virgin queeu, we must confess that sickening scenes of unnecessary sufferings pre- sent themselves to our mind's eye, during the long reign of Bess. How many of her subjects were put to much suffer- ing, tortures, and death, the day of judgment alone will dis- close. Every Unprejudiced mind must admit that Queen Elizabeth was a personification of intense selfishness, of hypocrisy, and vanity totally destitute of the finer sensibili- ties of a woi-nai), and as void of sympathetic affections as one of the monsters of the deep. The laws of such personages were, of necessity, like themselves, but there is no necessity that we should be governed by any relics of barbarism that may yet disgrace our statute books. CYMRO BACH.
THE NORMAL COLLEGE FOR WALES.
THE NORMAL COLLEGE FOR WALES. TO J. II. VIVIAN, ESQ., M.P. FOR SWANSEA, &C. SIR,—Knowing your readiness to unite in every benevo- lent effort to ameliorate the condition, and to improve the. moral and intellectual character of the working population of our country, I am not surprised to find your respected and influential name in the list of co i t-ibiitors to the Normal "College for Wales, about to. be erected in Swansea. Nor will my knowledge of your habitual and vigilant ob- servance of every measure calculated to advance the well- being of society, allow me to. doubt that the circumstances which have led to the proposed removal of the College from Brecon to Swansea have received from you that candid and unbiassed consideration which their importance require. But as I regard the subject to be one of vital importance to the prosperity of Wales, I may not be deemed intrusive if I ven- ture to call your attention and that of the public to the fact, that this Normal-College comes to us, having on its front that impress of infallibility and finality which Protestant writers have alivays regarded as a characteristic "mark of the beast," which; is so inimical to all civil and religious freedom. ) You are doubtless aware that in September, 1847, a cer- tain resolution was passed by less th, ti-, one-third of the then subscribers to the College (without the consent, and, it is said, in opposition; to the convictions of the other two-thirds) repudiating all State aid for the purposes of education, as vicious in principle, and pledging the society, through all the future stages of its existence, never to accept such aid, what- ever might be the necessity of the case, or the nature of the conditions on which such aid might be obtained. This was called, in the language of the promoters of the resolution, passing the Rubicon," and crossing a line which no future committee could possibly re-cross without violating every principle of honour, whatever may be its prejudices or pre- dilections. If the advocates of exclusive voluntaryism in education possessed the undivided sympathy, and were as- sured of the cordial co-operation of the various bodies of Non- conformists throughout the length and breadth of the prin- cipality, my own experience would not allow me to suppose that Welsh Dissenters (the majority of whom are in humble circumstances) would ever contribute the sum of two thou- sand pounds per annum for the purpose of training an ade- quate number of teachers, whom they would have afterwards to support in connexioia with their respective schools. Nor should this surprise any one when it is considered that they have to erect and maintain their places of worship; to support their pastors to defray the charges of their Sabbath schools; to relieve their poorer members in sickness and distress and are also expected to subscribe their thousands annually in aid of local day schools. But when it is notorious that no such union exists—that the Wesleyans have withdrawn their opposition to the Government grant—that the most influential portion of the Calvinistic Methodists are in its favour—that the Baptists, with few exceptions, are mere spectators-and that the Independents themselves, who take the lead in this movement, are much divided on the question, the idea that the Normal College will ever be adequately supported by voluntary contributions appears to me chime- rical and preposterous. But I may be told, Let the experiment be made, and give the voluntary principle a fair trial, and should it fail it will then be time enough to press upon the voluntaryists in education the importance and the indispensable necessity of State aid for the purpose of providing an adequate number of qualfiied teachers for the principality." But, Sir, allow me to remind you and the public that this is proposing to shut the stable door after the horse has been stolen." If the principle embodied in the resolution of September, 1847, is to form an integral part of the constitution, to be submitted at the next meeting of the members, to be held in Carmar- then, on the 6th of September next, and should it be agreed to as one of the expressed conditions of the trust, the Ru- bicon" will have indeed been passed LEGALLY as well as the- oretically, for the question of State aid can irever after that become a subject for discussion. In consequence of adopting this question offinality, it will be just possible that you may have the pain of witnessing, within a few minutes' walk of Singleton, a stately building, erected partly by the fruit of your own liberality, and partly by the hard earnings of your honest workmen, capable of containing 100 or 1.50 students, male and female, occupied by less than one-half of the num- ber, with ill qualified, because ill paid, teachers with a very defective apparatus and many of these students compelled to leave the College within a few months of their entrance, not having the means to support themselves for a longer period. Thus the very institution which was designed to elevate the character of our schools will become the means of overrun- ning the country with incompetent teachers, and all this for the want of adequate means, while Government is willing to supply the deficiency on such terms as cannot possibly inter- fere, as far as I can see, with the consciences of the most scrupulous, but which aid the constitution of the Normal School society, framed under the impulse of strong excite- ment, will not allow the offer to be accepted. But after all, you may be disposed to ask, "What can I do in this matter ?" and to say, Gentlemen, agree among yourselves, and I shall be happy to assist you in any effort you may make for the diffusion of sound education." In reply, allow me to state that in my humble opinion, you yourself and other subscribers of the class to which you belong, namely, such as do not condemn all State inter- ference with education, should accompany your subscriptions by a request that should Government aid ever become ne- cessary to render your individual contribution effective, and available for the public good, the question should be left OPEN for the discussion and decision of the majority of the subscribers, without being subjected to the charge of vio- lating either law or honour. Convinced as I am, that ere long State aid will not only be generally accepted, but earnestly sought after by all the In promoters of sound secular education, the only object of my present solicitude is to prevent if possible my very sincere (but as they appear to me) mistaken friends from strangling at the birth an institution having objects so important as the Normal College for Wales, and to dissuade them, by all the means of which I can avail myself, from,infusing into, its constitution that element of weakness which may cramp its energies, contract its usefulness, and probably hasten its dissolution-I mean the insertion in the trust deed of a clause prohibiting all application for, or acceptance of State aid, whether from the Consolidated Funds, or by means of local taxation, My great anxiety to secure this object, which, in in my estimation, is one of paramount importance, is my only apology for addressing you, and presuming to point out that course by which you may materially serve your country and effectually promote the extension of those views in re- ference to education, which you have repeatedly avowed both in and out of Parliament. L I must, however, beg to b? understood that no expression of my distrust of the voluntary principle in reference to education, is intended to apply to mutters purely religious, and that nothingis,furtherfrom my intention than a wish to dictate to yourself and others the course that you should pursue. But if the object at which I aim is such as to ap- prove itself to your judgment, I earnestly entreat your assist- ance in the manner I have pointed out, or in any other mode which you may think fit to adopt. Praying that you may be long spared and usefully employed in forwarding such measures as are calculated to improve the condition of the people, both in and out of the senate, I remain, ■ ■ ? Your most faithful and obedient servant, DANIEL DAVIES, Swansea, Aug. 19, 1848. (ttethesda.)
THE WEATHER AND THE CROPS.
THE WEATHER AND THE CROPS. STAFFORDSHIRE.'—The singularly changeable weather which has characterised the summer threatens to extend into the aut-un n months. Scarcely two days together are free from rain, Iiid occasionally the showers are very heavy; butthenconié a drying wind, and the low temperature of the air win,a, under other circumstances, would be disad- vantageous at this-season of the year, fortunately preserves us from that condition of warmth and moisture under which the ripening grain is apt to sustain damage. N otwithstand ing the frequent interruptions from the weather of which we have been speaking, harvest operations have steadi-ly- advancad over a considerable portion of this county, and except on the colder soils or in the more elevated districts, two-thirds of the wheat have been cut, and only awaita few bright hot days to be ready for the rick-yard. The-sample generally seems good, but the quantity is said to be rather below an average crop. The latter remark, however, does not-apply to the best cultivated farms, where deop., tillage and thorough draining enable the skilled agriculturists to bid'denance to the ordinary casualties of weather, so far as the question is one of deficiency or abundance. There is I this advantage also in draining, that there the crop ripens earlier than where the water is allowed to stagnate. Under the circumstances which marked the sowing of oats, the quantity of rain that has fallen during the summer has been favourable rather than otherwise. We think we may ven- ture to say there is an average crop both of grain an d straw, and the quality of the grain is likely to be rather superior if it can be well housed. The cutting of bats has scarcely commenced in the north of the country. Barley can scarcely be called a leading crop in Staffordshire. We hear but little about it; and if there be truth in the saying that" no news is good news," it may be concluded that with respect to bar- ley there is at least nothing to complain of. The same obser- vation applies to peas, tares, and other leguminous crops. Owing to the first sowing having failed in so many instances, the main crop of turnips is backward. The state of the land has also been unfavourable for cleaning, so that unless great diligence is used the growth of weeds is likely to be quite as luxuriant as that of turnips. Taking ail tilings into account, the weight of the turnip crop is expected to prove somewhat deficient, unless moderately warm weather should prevail during the autumn.—-Stafford Advertiser, August 19. CUMBERLAND.—The harvest this week commenced in. almost every part of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and North Lancashire, and next week, if the weather continues what it has been for nearly ten days, will became universal. We saw on Tuesday and Wednesday in various parts of the county wheat, barley, and oats, in the stook or in progress of cutting. Qenerally speaking, the crops are heavy, and, notwithstanding the late rains, we never saw the straw of a more brilliant colour. On some lands the wheat is thin and small in the ear. We think, however, there will be, on the whole, an average crop, and the quality is uniformly good. Even in the mountain districts, where the oats do not some- times ripen till the frost comes, the fields arc all rapidiv turning, and will be ready for the sickle by the middle of Septemher.- Carlisle Patriot, August 19. ESSEX.—Near Brain tree our wheats are much lighter than last year, and considerably under an average, varyine, in proportion to the quality of the land and the way in which it is cultivated, from six to sixteen bushels per acre where from twenty to fifty are usually grown. To our bar- leys the same remarks will apply. Oats are very light and uneven in growth, and will be short in yield. Peas about an average. Beans generally good, and in some instances a heavy crop. Of the potatoes but a poor account is given all the early ones are infected with disease, and rendered unfit for human food, and, to prevent the entire destruction, are being consumed as quickly as possible. The late planted ones at present are more clear from it; but, all sufficiently forward in growth show the symptoms too plainly. Feed ts very plentiful, and lean stock dear, though dull of sale in consequence of the prevalent diseases, most parties feelin«- indisposed to purchase, or introduce fresh stock upon their farms that can avoid it.- Olteliizsfoi-cl Chronicle, August 18. NORFOLK. ,-On Monday and Tuesday the weather in this neighbourhood (Norwich) was of the most gloomy descrip- n p- tion. During the whole of. that period the descended without intermission, accompanied with a chilling north-east wind. In fact, the weather was cold enough for November. Great apprehensions were entertained for the safety of the wheat which had been cut, and was standing in stock. On Wednesday morning, however, a change took place, and since that time we have been favoured with fine weather, and the harvest in this neighbourhood has been actively pro- t, y ceeded with. A large portion of the wlieat in this district has been cut and stacked, and during the last few days the reaping of barley has commenced in the eastern division of the county.—Norivieh Mercury, Aug. 19. POTATO BLIGHT.—On my way from London to Dart- mouth, it struck me as very remarkable that in the potato fields, where the stalk was in full blossom, there was not a single appearance of blight, while in the neighbouring fields, or even iii flic, same field where the haulm had turned low, and bore apple-seeds, it was more or less. blighted. Upon this fact I have come to a conclusion which, if founded in truth, cannot be too extensively known. It is this, thatr the stalk acts as the lungs of the potato tuber, and is neces- sary for its-evolution, until the stalk has ceased to-, and to furnish the apple seed; that after thatperiod it becomes "deciduous" and contributes no qualities to the- potato, which then begins to depend upon its radicles and resources in the earth, deriving nothing from the atmo- sphere. I conclude, therefore, that while the stalk is in blossom it has the power of resisting the pestilential mahrh, but the moment it becomes deciduous" it is then a conduc- tor of the miasma. Therefore Gainfully to pull up all such stalks, by placing your feet at the sides, lacerating the radi- cles as little as possible, and leaving the potatoes in stuttf. jwo-banked up in their mother earth, would be a prophylac- tic measure. There is no question but that the only plan to preserve tainted potatoes is to leave them with their-radicles banked up in the ground after removing the stalk; if. the stalk can resist contagion whilst it is deriving support from the tuber, there is no danger to be apprehended, but it should be removed the moment it is liable to become a con- ductor to the atmospheric poifni. I trust the people will for- the future give up placing any confidence in ventilation, lime, or dry earth, for the only safety lies in removing the stalks and banking up the earth well to secure the potatoes fronl the air and frost; except in hard winters the latter seldom penetrates deeper than six or eight inches below the surface. — IV. Herbert Saunders, Union Club. CUTTING THE HAULM OFF POTATOES.—I see that you are pulling up the potato haulm and rolling the potitoes. I pre- fer cutting off the haulm; it sufficiently cuts off the con- nexion between top and tuber, and I think the potato ripens better on the fibre than when totally disconnected; I have tried both ways. The rolling system I think is good. I have some kidneys planted in lands between rows of goose- berry trees- The women in gathering the berries have made several tracks across the potatoes with their feet quite solid, and there the potatoes are quite sound, while the others are very badly diseased.—II. liilott. STORING POTATOES.—I find from past experience that the best plan is to leave the potatoes undisturbed in the ground until the usual time of lifting in the autumn. Particular care should then be taken to, select all that are sound, to be placed by themselves; those that are- not so to be dusted over with quick-lime, which prevents the disease from in- creasing; these when used first will he found to be good eating, when the consumed parts are carefully cut off before cooking. Cottagers or others who require the ground for immediate cropping had better place them in a corner of the garden very thin again, and cover them over with about six "I inches of soil; there is less means of their injuring other-, in this way than when placed-in larger-heaps, I am of opinion that the injury to the root is not so bad as in 1845 and 1846, and if treated as here recommended, by making use of unsound ones first, I should consider that there will be three parts of a crop generally.—Dido, Aug. 9. TIVY SInE A-GRIOUX,TUBAL ASSOCIATION..—The annual meet-r- ing of the above society, for the show.of stock.and the distri- bution of prizes, was held at Newcastle Etnlyn, on Friday, the 4 th instant, and was very well attended. The show of stock. gave general satisfaction to the promoters of the society. This useful and now fashionable science—viz., improved breeding is. we are glad to say, much studied in this district of late years.. The exhibition was admitted by competent authorities" to be very superior to that of a neighbouring county, hitherto celebrated for its breed of black cattle. There were few spe- cimens of the Hereford, Durham, Ayrshire (several crosses) and. Castlsnrartin breeds, exhibited for competition. The short and long wooTsheup deserve particular commendation, as well a-; the improved breed of the ursine tribe. The competition for prizes was entered into with spirit-between landlord and tenant, and gentlemen and tenant.farmers— the latter carrying away several prizes in opposition to their more wealthy neighbours.. In meetings such as these the minds of the agricultural classed are elevated above their usual level, and, an anxiety is exhi- bited by all classes to profit by the various scientific and use- I ful .hints thrown out, and observations made by. competent and practical personsCarmarthen Jo urnal. THE OLU WELSH GENTLEMAN'S MODE OF KEEPING HIS POTATOES.—Deponent when a-youth knew the above old gentleman; he had a peculiar-faney for having his potatoes, dug fresh every day out of the ground foivhi's own dinner. He had them planted in rows two- feet5, apart in the usual way; .when the young potatoes were. fit for digging, he had every other row dug up for use. Therefore the rows left stood four foot apart. Previous to, he had the mould,
THE STATE TRIALS.
SENTENCE ON MARTIN.—At six on Saturday, the Chief Baron sentenced Mr. Martin to ten years' transportation. The Court then rose for the present sittings. The prisoner before sentence said he did not mean to impugn the Court, or the verdict of the jury, but he did not think he had been fairly tried, as the jury had been selected by the Crown. He then entered into a vindication of his motives, declaring thai, he was impelled to the course he had adopted by wit- nessing the miseries to which his unfortunate countrymen "were subjected in fact, he could not rest while he thought on the misery they endured. The Chief Baron, in passing sentence, pointed out the evils which were likely to result to the country from the course he had adopted; and said, the court had felt bound not to disregard altogether the re- commendation of the jury to mercy. The prisoner: I beg pardon for interrupting your lordship, but I cannot conde- scend to accept mercy. I believe I am morally right, and I only want justice. Arrangements are in progress for a Special Commission 1n the county of Tipperary, for the trial of Mr. Smith O'Brien, Mr. T. F. Meagher, aad the other parties engaged in the in- surrectionary outbreak in that county. The letters and other documents found in the possession of Mr. Smith O'Brien have, it is understood, induced the Crown to expe- dite this Commission; and it is stated that startling disclo- sures will be made in the evidence, for which the public as yet are little prepared. There is no account yet of Doheny or Dillon. REMOVAL OF STATE PRISONERS.—On Friday morning fourteen prisoners, in Newgate and Kilmainham gaol, were removed to Belfast, where they, will be confined for the present. Crown prosecutors have determined to abandon the Indictment for felony against Mr. Gavan Duffy in order to prosecute him for high treason, in consequence of the disco- very amongst the papers found in Mr. Smith O'Brien's port- manteau of a letter of Mr. Duffy on the subject of the insur- rection. The man Harnett, who was- arrested, is not the man who directed the attack on the mails at Abbeyfeale. That auda- cious rebel is still at large. The person arrested is a cousin of his, a solicitor, in the town of Newcastle, and head of the club orgaiiisation there. TRANSMISSION OF STATE PRISONERS TO FORT 'GEORGE-. -Twelve of the State prisoners arrested under the Suspen- sion of the Habeas Corpus Act were placed on board the war-steamer Shearwater, for Fort George, in Scotland. The prisoners appeared persons of the humbler class. It was stated, some of the American sympathisers" were •amongst them. The prisons of Newgate and Kilmainham have become crowded. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CLERGY AND THE STATE PRI- SONERS.—The Limerick Examiner contains the following announcement:—•" A letter from the Right Rev. Dr. Ryan, Bishop of this diocese, announcing a movement of the pre- lates and clergy of Ireland in favour of a general amnesty for all political offences, has been received by clergymen in this city. It is needless to state that the clergymen of this 0 diocese have most readily co-operated with the right rev. prelate in an object which all have so deeply at heart. The Catholic hierarchy and clergy of England contemplate a 11 n p memorial similar to that proposed by their brethren in this country,, in behalf of the State prisoners. The intention is to present the memorial to the .Queeu- in person, or, if that be not permitted, through the Secretary of State, praying an amnesty for political offences in Ireland." The Cork Constitution reports a treasonable piece of pas- try. On Thursday, a large meat pie smoking from the oven was presented at the gate of the city gaol, by a servant of the iviessrs. Yarian, of Patrick-street, to be given to Isaac, Stephen, and Ralph Varian, prisoners for treasonable prac- tices. Before the pie was forwarded by the outward turn- key, the searcher pierced it with a long needle; and, fiiidiu- it contained something hard, lifted the crust and discovered a bottle. On drawing the cork it was found to contain five ,or six letters and scraps. of. newspapers. The scraps.gave accounts of the arrests of the rebel leaders, and reports of the proceedings in Italy. Amongst the letters was one di- rected to I. S. Varian, purporting to be written by one of his female relatives, which was very lengthy, couched in extraordinary language, and containing the most horrifying sentiments. The bottle and its contents have been retained by the authorities. The pie was given to the prisoners. THE WEATHER IN IRELAND.—Most favourable symptoms of a change in the weather set in on Thursday afternoon, the wind passing round to the north, with bright sunshine and an unclouded sky. The reports from the country, how- ever, continue unfavourable, and the apprehensions of defi- cient grain crops, and of the total failure of the potato, are becoming every day more serious and well-founded. THE POTATO BLIGHT.—The failure appears to be as com- plete as that of 1846. Reports from Tipperary, Carlow, Cork, Sligo, Limerick, Derry, Antrim, Down, Louth, Ar- magh, and Monaghan, all concur in representing the pesti- lence as universal.