Imatges de pàgina

Sir FRANCIS WINN (leading counsel for the Crown).-The truth of it is, what your lordship says cannot be opposed regularly ; but I do appeal to your lordship, and all the judges, and all the Court, whether this man does answer like an ingenuous man ; you see he shifts.

L. C. J.-I do not see it, nor do I believe he shifts in anything you ask of him ; either he tells you what the question is, or the reason of it ; how far that is & reason is left to the jury to consider.

Sir Francis Winn continued to press for the interpreter, and North from the Bench came to his rescue, whereupon :

L. C. J.-If that be liked better let it be so. [Addressing the interpreter] Mr. Craven, can you tell the substance of the evidence that this gentleman hath given ?

Mr. CRAVEN.—No, I cannot; his evidence has been so long, and so many cross questions have been asked.

The interpreters, too, were inclined to act in a very irregular way, and mixed up their own personal knowledge with that of the witness. Thus, Sir Francis Winn exclaims :

We observe what a sort of interpreter Sir N. Johnson is ; he speaks more like an advocate than an interpreter ; he mingles interpreter and witness and advocate together. I don't know what to make of him.

At another moment Johnson, interpreting a witness, said :

And he says all the servants in Germany wear such broadswords.

L. C. J.-You know yourself, Sir Nathaniel Johnson, you have travelled there.

Sir N. JOHNSON.—Yes, my lord, they do ; and the Poles much broader and greater swords than the others. Here is one in court that hath a great broadsword now by his side.

A little later Johnson again comes into conflict with the Crown counsel.

Sir FR. WINN.—You may observe, my lord, how Sir Nathaniel Johnson, who is interpreter in the case, is a witness, and argues for the prisoner too.

Mr. WILLIAMS.–Pray, Sir Nathaniel, is a rencounter the killing of a man after this manner ?

Sir N. JOHNSON.-A rencounter is another sort of thing, sir ; you don't speak as if you were a soldier.

Mr. WILLIAMS.—My being a soldier or not is nothing to the business ; but the captain said he intended to have made a rencounter of it.

Sir FR. WINN.-But, my lord, we desire to take notice of Sir Nathaniel's forwardness, for it may be a precedent in other cases.

L. C. J.-What do you talk of a precedent? When did you see a precedent of a like trial of strangers that could not speak a word of English ?

Königsmarck, being charged as an accessory, asked to have his trial postponed until the principals should have been convicted. Pemberton refused this, on the ground that he had no power to separate the trials, although, as a matter of fact, he had a discretion in the matter, and his real reason for refusing the application was in the Count's own interest, though the latter was not aware of this himself. Pemberton in two other respects acted illegally, first in not asking Stern and Boraski what they had to say for themselves, and secondly in not allowing their depositions to be read. In both these matters the Chief acted illegally, believing that the ‘Polander' and the Lieutenant would in their statements (as they had already done in their examination) irretrievably incriminate Königsmarck, whom, for servile reasons, he wished to screen.

The case against the three principals was proved without any difficulty ; indeed they all acknowledged it, and some extra evidence called against them was pleasantly referred to by counsel as “ killing dead men’; but the charge against the Count failed, much to the popular displeasure.

Judex damnatur, cum nocens absolvitur,

and the shame of this bad acquittal rests on Pemberton. The reluctant evidence of Hanson, the tale of the boy attendant, the connected narrative as to Boraski's arrival in England, his equipment with clothes and arms, a suspicious incognito of 'Carlo Cuski' assumed by Königsmarck, Vratz's visit immediately after the murder, the Count's flight in disguise after hearing of the arrest of the assassins, his stay in concealment in Rotherhithe, and his demeanour when arrested must, one would have thought, have convinced any openminded man of his guilt. According to the practice of those days both Winn and Williams addressed the jury for the Crown when the evidence had all been heard, and spoke with great keenness and lucidity. Immense applause from the spectators greeted the close of each speech. But then came the turn of the unjust judge ; his summing-up was extremely clever, for he does not appear to lean overheavily in favour of the Count, yet he glides skilfully over the most damning points of the case, throwing in here and there a suggestion for a plausible explanation.

Ultimately at about six o'clock the jury retired, and after half an hour's absence returned with the verdict of 'Guilty' against the three wretched instruments of Königsmarck, and of ‘Not Guilty' against the chief conspirator himself.

'God bless the King and the honourable Bench !' exclaimed the brazen and shameless Count.

After this the judges left the Court, not condescending themselves to pronounce the awful sentence, and the convicted prisoners, having according to barbarous usage been tied up by the executioner, were sentenced by Treby to death, a penalty which they underwent on the 10th of March in Pall Mall, on the precise spot where their crime had been committed. Vratz died callous and unrepenting, and had the hardihood to salute Reresby on the way to execution, but Stern and Boraski made full confessions. The King, in deference to Vratz's rank, allowed his body to be embalmed and sent to his own country, and Evelyn went to see the corpse, which he notes was too richly and magnificently trapped out for so daring and horrid a murderer. But Stern and Boraski, his less guilty associates, were ordered to be hanged in chains.

The action of the jury is remarkable, for only a short dozen years earlier the full liberty of jurors had been established by Vaughan upon the prosecution of the celebrated William Penn. The trial lasted only one day, and the jury had been selected from the panel after an almost interminable number of challenges; therefore it would have been difficult to have bribed them all. The Count had been very particular in keeping Walloons off the jury because they had served against the Swedes, also Danes because his father in the wars had burned their towns.

The Königsmarcks did not stay long in England where their name had become odious to the nation; the elder, indeed, was hardly safe from popular violence, and he retired to France, while his younger brother abandoned the idea of Oxford. Carl John continued his adventurous life abroad, and died some four or five years later from disease, contracted through his exertions in the field, so that he did his best to wash out the stain by 'good actions in the wars' and 'nights on counterscarps.' Of Philip's future career enough has already been written elsewhere.





The persistent outcry for Old-age Pensions to be provided by the State has led me to try to answer the question at the head of this paper, as obviously, if the working classes have the power to help themselves in this matter, it is clear they only need the will to enable them to do so.

As a working man individualist, who thoroughly believes in the principle of self-help, I may be permitted to say while on this topic that, apart from the selfishness which seems inborn in our nature, I am not much in love with the prospect of having my earnings still further curtailed, either directly or indirectly, in order to provide a fund from which my more improvident fellow-workman, who has had equal opportunities with myself through life, shall be assisted when he is past work from old-age. And for this reason. While at the time of writing I am not acquainted with any details of the proposed Government measure, it is a moot point with me as to who in strict and even-handed justice is best entitled to consideration in any scheme for conferring pensions on those who arrive at old-age. Should it be the man who can and will work, respected and self-respecting, who has brought up a family, and in this and other ways contributed his fair quota to the stability and wealth of the nation; or the man who, equally good as a craftsman, thoughtlessly wastes what money he earns in the gratification of his sensual propensities; or, again, the lazyback who does not care which end goes first, who, even when he has the chance, barely works enough to keep body and soul together, and who is a constant drawback to the moral and material well-being of the community? As I venture to submit, when, if ever, the measure should become law, the man who by strict economy and Spartan-like self-denial has managed to amass such a sum as would just debar him from being able to claim a pension as a right is left out in the cold, while his more clamant and improvident fellow workman is granted that right, a gross injustice will have been done to the man whose conduct has added to and not detracted from the welfare of the whole body politic. And I aver this is the man who, whatever the cost, VOL. LXIII-No. 372



deserves a pension, entirely without regard to his own resources, as a reward for his abstinence, and as being far more worthy than the needy ne'er-do-well, who, so far as I can fathom the outcry, it is primally intended to benefit. Further, I can go so far with the Socialists as to believe, with Adam Smith, there is no other source of wealth than labour ; thus, the steady-going workman, even if there is no special payment to a common fund for the purpose, as in Germany, will have been contributing all through the years by his labour to the fund, the surplus wealth of the nation, from which the pensions must be paid, in a more—much more--marked degree than his negligent brother, who, as the prodigal son, it seems to come natural for us to think must be provided for.

But to my text. Although the attempt has often been made to show by statistics not only that the working classes can save, but that they actually have saved through the various agencies for the promotion of thrift, other than commercial banking houses, such a sum as has helped to swell somewhat materially the total accredited wealth of the nation, nevertheless, while not doubting these efforts are well meant, still they are unconvincing and delusive. For instance, to my mind, and in the light of my experience, it will need a rather big grain of salt to enable me to swallow and digest the latest statement I have seen bearing on this point, namely, that there was a total of 450,000,0001., which might fairly be considered as working class savings, together with a further sum of 150,000,0001., belonging to the small shopkeeping class, which gives a total of 600,000,000l. in the year 1905,' a sum which truly seems almost fabulous in amount to be held by a class which, as we are told, numbers among its constituents twelve millions of people who are constantly existing on the borders of indigence and want. While not intending to deal in detail with these conclusions of the statisticians, I desire to emphasise a fact that is well known to most working-class observers, and which has often been commented on—that the actual savings by bona-fide wage-earners are really small in the aggregate, the moneys deposited by them during any year being rendered nugatory as accrued capital by the amount of their withdrawals.

As an illustration of this phase of the question, I will give the following particulars from the accounts for 1906 of two typical institutions of their class at Leeds, which carry on a large business in their respective spheres of usefulness. In these statements not only the moneys deposited and withdrawn, but also the interest has been taken into the account; although, indeed, so far as regards the workingclass investor, the interest is only a negligible quantity, as the average sum to the credit of each depositor, many of whom belong to the middle class and have cheque accounts, in such a large institution with branches spread over a wide industrial area as the Yorkshire

"Mr. Chiozza Money, M.P., Contemporary Review, June 1907.

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