Brutus, and Judge Jefferies, to a select audience. " Tlie

prisoner," he continued, " is below, in charge of Gregory,

the head constable, and the prosecutor is in attendance in

my study. If it be agreeable, therefore, we will transform

the drawing-room, for once, into a Lit de Justice, and

take the evidence. I assure you, Mrs. Hamilton, you will

find it an interesting case, and presenting a moral phenomenon

prefectlynew to me in all my magisterial experience:

I mean the remarkable indifference of the accused party,

as to penal consequences, or rather, I should say, a kind of

hankering to incur the extreme penalty of the law."


Why, really, sir," answered Mrs. Hamilton, " I have

so much of the curiosity of my sex, that I should like to

see the culprit, and to hear what reasons he could assign for

so very extraordinary a taste."

" And for my part," said Grace, " I am curious to be-

hold Unlucky Joe, who has been described to me as the

mere foot-ball of fortune."


So be it then," said the Justice ;

" Mr. Ferrers, go and

bring hither our tools of trade, and tell Gregory to produce

his prisoner in court."

The clerk accordingly fetched his writing materials, and

installed himself at the table fronting the Justice, who

seated himself with much dignity in a large easy chair.

In a few minutes the constable introduced his charge, who

stared with a vacant careless gaze at the company, but the

moment his eyes encountered the Baronet his face twitched

all over, and, muttering a reflection on "his luck," he

dropped his head, and kept looking downwards, as if for

the bolt that was to be drawn beneath his feet. The oath

was recited by the clerk, and Joe kissed the book.


Prisoner, what is your name?" asked the Justice, in

a tone which he reserved for the chair and the bench.


Joseph Spiller," answered the "

culprit, and I wish

I'd never been born to be baptized."

" How do you get your livelihood ? "

inquired the same

stern voice.


I was a "

post-boy aforetimes," said Joe, but now I'm

nothing, and noboby suffers from my misfortunes but



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