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      ** Mmoire pour M. de Tracy.Lord Goderich acted with great humility. In a letter to the Duke of Buckingham, shortly after his resignation, he expressed his willingness to serve under the Duke of Wellington, though it might certainly be a matter of doubt with him how far, in existing circumstances, he could with credit accept office. But as the Government was to rest upon a broad basis, and was not to oppose the principles he had always advocated, he was ready to consider favourably any offer that might be made to him. The task which Wellington had undertaken was a most[262] difficult one, considering the nature of the questions that agitated the public mind, and the course which he had adopted in reference to them. The new Government was announced on the 25th of January. It retained several members of the Goderich Ministrynamely, Lord Dudley, Mr. Huskisson, and Mr. Herries. The Duke of Wellington was Premier, Mr. Goulburn Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Aberdeen Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Lord Ellenborough Privy Seal. Mr. Canning's widow was created a viscountess, with a grant of 6,000 a year, to be enjoyed after her death by her eldest son, and, in case of his death, by her second son. The former was in the navy, and perished accidentally soon after his father's death. The second son, to whom the family honours descended, was the Governor-General of India during the most memorable crisis in the history of that empire. The grant was opposed by Lord Althorp, Mr. Hume, and Mr. Banks, but was carried by a majority of 161 to 54.


      [521]


      The question of the Canadian boundary had been an open sore for more than half a century. Nominally settled by the treaty of 1783, it had remained in dispute, because that arrangement had been drawn up on defective knowledge. Thus the river St. Croix was fixed as the frontier on the Atlantic sea-board, but there were five or six rivers St. Croix, and at another point a ridge of hills that was not in existence was fixed upon as the dividing line. Numerous diplomatic efforts were made to settle the difficulty; finally it was referred to the King of the Netherlands, who made an award in 1831 which was rejected by the United States. The question became of increasing importance as the population grew thicker. Thus, in 1837, the State of Maine decided on including some of the inhabitants of the disputed territory in its census, but its officer, Mr. Greely, was promptly arrested by the authorities of New Brunswick and thrust into prison. Here was a serious matter, and a still greater source of irritation was the McLeod affair. McLeod was a Canadian who had been a participator in the destruction of the Caroline. Unfortunately his tongue got the better of his prudence during a visit to New York in 1840, and he openly boasted his share in the deed. He was arrested, put into prison, and charged with murder, nor could Lord Palmerston's strenuous representations obtain his release. At one time it seemed as if war was imminent between England and the United States, but, with the acquittal of McLeod, one reason for fighting disappeared.

      Jerusha's anxious frown gave place to quick laughter. She was by natureAs for the poems of Ossian, he made a violent attack upon them in his "Tour to the Western Isles."


      Some crimes are injuries to a mans person, others to his property, and the former should certainly be punished by corporal punishments.

      by Talon in 1672; but the land had, in many cases, beenBut there is a still further uncertainty of punishment, for it is as well known in the criminal world as elsewhere that the sentence pronounced in court is not the real sentence, and that neither penal servitude for[96] five years nor penal servitude for life mean necessarily anything of the sort. The humanity of modern legislation insists on a remission of punishment, dependent on a convicts life in the public works prisons, in order that the element of hope may brighten his lot and perchance reform his character. This remission was at first dependent simply on his conduct, which was perhaps too generously called good where it was hard for it to be bad; now it depends on his industry and amount of work done. Yet the element of hope might be otherwise assured than by lessening the certainty of punishment, say, by associating industry or good conduct with such little privileges of diet, letter-writing, or receiving of visits, as still shed some rays of pleasure over the monotony of felon-life. It should not be forgotten, that the Commission of 1863, which so strongly advocated the remissibility of parts of penal sentences, did so in despite of one of its principal members, against no less an authority than the Lord Chief Justice, then Sir Alexander Cockburn.[55] The very fact of the remissibility of a sentence is an admission of its excessive severity; for to say that a sentence is never carried out is to say that it need never have been inflicted.

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      observations of Judge Lafontaine, are especiallyHe soon renewed his attacks, and in his quality of intendant called on the councillors and their allies to render their accounts, and settle the long arrears of debt due to the company. They set his demands at naught. The war continued month after month. It is more than likely that when in the spring of 1662 Avaugour dissolved and reconstructed the council, his action had reference to these disputes; and it is clear that when in the following August Laval sailed for France, one of his objects was to restore the tranquillity which Dumesnils proceedings had disturbed. There was great need; for, what with these proceedings and the quarrel about brandy, Quebec was a little hell of discord, the earthquake not having as yet frightened it into propriety.

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      ** N. Y. Colonial Documents, IX. 278.remained the same. It issued decrees for the civil, commercial, and financial government of the colony, and gave judgment in civil and criminal causes according to the royal ordinances and the Coutume de Paris. It exercised also the function of registration borrowed from the parliament of Paris. That body, it will be remembered, had no analogy whatever with the English parliament. Its ordinary functions were not legislative, but judicial; and it was composed of judges hereditary under certain conditions. Nevertheless, it had long acted as a check on the royal power through its right of registration. No royal edict had the force of law till entered upon its books, and this custom had so deep a root in the monarchical constitution of France, that even Louis XIV., in the flush of his power, did not attempt to abolish it. He did better; he ordered his decrees to be registered, and the humbled parliament submissively obeyed. In like manner all edicts, ordinances, or declarations relating to Canada were entered on the registers of the superior council at Quebec. The order of registration was commonly affixed to the edict or other mandate, and nobody dreamed of disobeying it. *

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