Chapter XVIII. {XLI}

“Are you acquainted with the difference  

That holds this present question, in the court?” Merchant of Venice.

{William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, IV.i.171-172}

AS the time for the trial approached, the parties collected in Philadelphia. Harry and his friends were often seen in the streets, looking busy and thoughtful. Mr. Reed also appeared, and took up his quarters at one of the great hotels, in company with Mr. Clapp and his client, who generally received the name of William Stanley, although he had not yet established a legal claim to it. There was much curiosity to see this individual, as the case had immediately attracted general attention in the town, where the families interested were so well known, and the singular circumstances of the suit naturally excited additional interest.

After the court opened its session, it became doubtful at one moment, whether the cause would he tried at that term; but others which preceded it having been disposed of, the Stanley suit was at length called.

On one side appeared William Stanley, the plaintiff, with Messrs. Reed and Clapp as counsel; a number of witnesses had been summoned by them, and were now present, mingled with the audience. On the other hand were the defendants, Mr. Wyllys, Hazlehurst, Ellsworth, and Mr. Grant, a distinguished lawyer of Philadelphia, appearing more particularly for Mrs. Stanley; they were also supported by witnesses of their own.

While the preliminary steps were going on, the jury forming, and the parties interested making their arrangements, the court-room filled rapidly with the friends of Hazlehurst, and a crowd of curious spectators. Among the individuals known to us, were Robert Hazlehurst, Mr. Stryker, and Charlie Hubbard, the young artist, who found that his want of inches interfered with his view of the scene, and springing on a bench, he remained there, and contrived to keep much the same station throughout the trial, his fine, intelligent countenance following the proceedings with the liveliest interest: Harry soon perceived him, and the young men exchanged friendly smiles. Mr. Stryker was looking on with cold, worldly curiosity; while Robert Hazlehurst watched over his brother’s interest with much anxiety. In one sense the audience was unequally divided at first, for while Harry had many warm, personal friends present, the sailor was a stranger to all; the aspect of things partially changed, however, for among that portion of the crowd who had no particular sympathies with the defendants, a number soon took sides with the plaintiff. The curiosity to see the sailor was very great; at one moment, in the opening of the trial, all eyes were fixed on him; nor did Harry escape his share of scrutiny.

It was immediately observed, by those who had known the late Mr. Stanley, that the plaintiff certainly resembled his family. He was dressed like a seaman, and appeared quite easy and confident; seldom absent from court, speaking little, but following the proceedings attentively. His counsel, Mr. Reed, bore a calm and business-like aspect. Clapp was flushed, his eye was keen and restless, though he looked sanguine and hopeful; running his hand through his dark curls, he would lean back and make an observation to his client, turn to the right and whisper something in the ear of Mr. Reed, or bend over his papers, engrossed in thought.

The defendants, on their side, were certainly three as respectable men in their appearance, as one would wish to see; they looked, moved, and spoke like gentlemen; in manner and expression they were all three perfectly natural; simple, easy, but firm; like men aware that important interests were at stake, and prepared to make a good defence. Mr. Grant, their colleague, was an insignificant-looking man when silent, but he never rose to speak, without commanding the whole attention of his audience by the force of his talent.

The judges were-well known to be respectable men, as American magistrates of the higher grade are usually found to be. In the appearance of the jury there was nothing remarkable; the foreman was a shrewd-looking man, his neighbour on the left had an open, honest countenance, two others showed decidedly stupid faces, and one had a very obstinate expression, as if the first idea that entered his head, on any subject whatever, was seldom allowed to be dislodged.

Such was the appearance of things when the trial commenced. Leaving the minutiæ of the proceedings to the legal report of Mr. Bernard, understood to be in the press, we shall confine ourselves to a brief, and very imperfect outline of the speeches, and the most important points of the testimony; merely endeavouring to give the reader a general idea of the course of things, on an occasion so important to Hazlehurst.

Mr. Clapp opened the case in a regular speech. Rising from his seat, he ran his fingers through his hair, and commenced, much as follows:

“We come before you on this occasion, gentlemen of the jury, to plead a cause which it is believed is unprecedented, in its peculiar facts, among the annals of justice in our great and glorious country. Never, indeed, should I have believed it possible that an American citizen could, under any circumstances whatever, have been compelled during so long a period to forego his just and legal rights; ay, that he could be forced to the very verge of abandoning those rights — all but forced to forget them. Yet, such are the facts of the case upon which you are now to decide. The individual appearing before you this day, claiming that the strong arm of the law be raised in his behalf, first presented himself to me, with the very same demand, six years since; to my shame I confess it, he was driven unaided from my door — I refused to assist him; he had already carried the same claim to others, and received from others the same treatment. And what is this claim, so difficult to establish? Is it some intricate legal question? Is it some doubtful point of law? Is it a matter which requires much learning to decide, much wisdom to fathom? No, gentlemen; it is a claim clearly defined, firmly established; never yet doubted, never yet denied: it is a claim, not only recognized in the common-law of every land, protected in the statute-books of every nation, but it is a claim, gentlemen, which springs spontaneously from the heart of every human being — it is the right of a son to his father’s inheritance. A right, dear alike to the son of one of our merchant princes, and to the son of the porter on our wharves.”

“Mr. Clapp paused; he looked about the court, rested his eyes on his client, ran his fingers through his curls, and then proceeded.

“Gentlemen; I have told you that it is the right of a son to his father’s inheritance, which we this day call upon you to uphold. It is more; it is the sacred cause of the orphan that you are to defend. Yes, gentlemen; at the moment when William Stanley should have taken possession of the inheritance, which was his by the threefold title of nature, of law, and of parental bequest, he was a mere boy, a minor, a wanderer on the deep; one of that gallant class of men who carry the glorious colours of our great and happy country into every port, who whiten every sea with American canvass — he was a roving sailor-boy!”

And setting out from this point, Mr. Clapp made a general statement of the case, coloured by all the cheap ornaments of forensic eloquence, and varied by allusions to the glory of the country, the learning of all judges, particularly American judges, especially the judges then on the bench; the wisdom of all juries, particularly American juries, especially the jury then in the box. He confessed that his client had been guilty of folly in his boyhood; “but no one, gentlemen, can regret past misconduct more than Mr. Stanley; no son ever felt more deeply than himself, regret, that he could not have attended the death-bed of his father, received his last blessing, and closed his eyes for the last time!” Mr. Clapp then read parts of Mr. Stanley’s will, gave an outline of his client’s wanderings, and was very particular with names and dates. The sailor’s return was then described in the most pathetic colours. “He brought with him, gentlemen, nothing but the humble contents of a sailor’s chest, the hard-earned wages of his daily toil; he, who in justice was the owner of as rich a domain as any in the land!” The attempts of this poor sailor to obtain his rights were then represented. “He learned the bitter truth, gentlemen, that a poor seaman, a foremast hand, with a tarpaulin hat and round-jacket, stood little chance of being heard, as the accuser of the rich and the powerful — the men who walked abroad in polished beavers, and aristocratic broad-cloths.” Aristocracy having once been brought upon the scene, was made to figure largely in several sentences, and was very roughly handled indeed. To have heard Mr. Clapp, one would have supposed aristocracy was the most sinful propensity to which human nature was liable; the only very criminal quality to which republican nature might he inclined. Of course the defendants were accused of this heinous sin; this brilliant passage concluded with a direct allusion to the “very aristocratic trio before him.” Mr. Stanley was declared to be no aristocrat; he was pronounced thoroughly plebeian in all his actions and habits. “Like the individual who has now the honour of addressing you, gentlemen, Mr. Stanley is entirely free, in all his habits and opinions, from the hateful stain of aristocracy.” He continued, following his client’s steps down to the present time, much as they are already known to the reader. Then, making a sudden change, he reviewed the conduct of the defendants as connected with his client.

{“Aristocracy” = Susan Fenimore Cooper was very familiar with court proceedings in the 1840s. Her father was at this time involved in a series of generally successful libel suits against newspapers, which defended themselves by accusing him of being “aristocratic,” a sore point, as he had repeatedly denounced aristocracy as the worst of all forms of government}

“What were their first steps at the death of Mr. Stanley, the father? Merely those which were absolutely necessary to secure themselves; they inquired for the absent son, but they inquired feebly; had they waited with greater patience he would have appeared, for the story of his disinheritance would never have reached him. Whence did that story proceed from? It is not for me to say; others now present may be able to account for it more readily. No, gentlemen, it is a bitter truth, that the conduct of the executors has been consistent throughout, from the moment they first took possession of the Stanley estate, until their appearance in this court; the conduct of the rival legatee has also been marked by the same consistent spirit of opposition, from the time of his first interview with Mr. Stanley, after he had arrived at years of discretion, and knew the value of the estate he hoped to enjoy; from the moment, I say, when he coolly ordered the unfortunate sailor to be locked up in Mr. Wyllys’s smoke-house, until the present instant, when his only hope lies in denying the identity of Mr. Stanley’s son.” Mr. Clapp dwelt for some time upon this first interview, and the smoke-house; as he had previously hinted to Hazlehurst, he laboured to make that affair “look ugly,” to the best of his ability. If the language of the Longbridge lawyer had been respectful throughout the preliminary proceedings, his tune in the court-room changed completely. As he drew towards the close of his speech, he gave full scope to a burst of virtuous indignation against wickedness and hypocrisy in general, and particularly against the conduct of the defendants. He declared himself forced to believe, that both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst had suspected the existence of William Stanley from the first — others might have the charity to believe they had been ignorant of the young man’s existence, he only wished he could still believe such to have been the fact — he had believed them honestly ignorant of it, until it was no longer possible for the prejudices of a long-standing friendship and intimacy to blind his eyes, under the flood of light presented by proofs as clear as day — proofs which his respected brother, the senior counsel, and himself, were about to lay before the court. He wished to be understood, however; he never for one moment had included in these suspicions — so painful to every candid, upright mind, but which had recently forced themselves upon him — he repeated, that in them he had never included the respected lady who filled the place of step-mother to his client, whose representative he now saw before him, in the person of a highly distinguished lawyer of the Philadelphia bar; he did not suppose that that venerable matron had ever doubted the death of her husband’s son. He knew that excellent lady, had often met her in the social circle; none admired more than he, the virtues for which she was distinguished; he had never supposed it possible, that if aware of the existence of William Stanley, she could have sat down calmly to enjoy his inheritance. Such a case of turpitude might not be without example; but he confessed that in his eyes, it would amount to guilt of so black a dye, that he was unwilling to accuse human nature of such depravity; it went beyond the powers of his, Mr. Clapp’s, imagination to comprehend. No, he acquitted Mrs. Stanley of all blame; she had been influenced and guided by the two gentlemen before him. He had himself observed, that during all the preliminary proceedings, the venerable step-mother of his client had shown many symptoms of doubt and hesitation; it was his firm conviction, it was the opinion of his client, of his brother counsel, that if left to her own unbiassed judgment, Mrs. Stanley would immediately have acknowledged her husband’s son, and received him as such. He appealed to the defendants themselves if this were not true; he called upon them to deny this assertion if they could — if they dared! Here Mr. Clapp paused a moment, and looked towards Mr. Grant.

The defendants had already spoken together for an instant; Mr. Ellsworth rose: “The answer which the counsel for the plaintiff was so anxious to receive, was reserved for its proper place in the defence. Where so much might be said, he should scarcely be able to confine himself within the bounds necessary at that moment. Let the counsel for the plaintiff rest assured, however, that the answer to that particular question, when given, would prove, like the general answer of the defence, of a nature that the interrogator would, doubtless, little relish.”

During Mr. Clapp’s abusive remarks, and impudent insinuations against himself and Mr. Wyllys, Hazlehurst, placing one arm on the table before him, leaned a little, forward, and fixed his eye steadily, but searchingly, on the face of the speaker. It proved as Harry had expected; the lawyer looked to the right and left, he faced the judges, the jurors; he glanced at the audience, raised his eyes to the ceiling, or threw them upon his papers, but not once did he meet those of Hazlehurst.

“Gentlemen of the jury; you will observe that the question remains unanswered!” continued Mr. Clapp, with a triumphant air. He then contrived to appeal to his brother counsel to declare his own impressions, and gave Mr. Reed an opportunity of affirming, that he had believed Mrs. Stanley inclined to acknowledge their client; he spoke calmly and impressively, in a manner very different from the hurried, yet whining enunciation, and flourishing gestures of his colleague.

Mr. Clapp now proceeded to prepare the way for the evidence: he gave a general idea of its character, expressing beforehand the firmest conviction of its effect on the court. “I have been engaged in hundreds of suits, gentlemen; I have been a regular attendant in courts of law from early boyhood, and never, in the whole course of my experience, have I met with a case, so peculiar and so important, supported by a body of evidence so clear, so decided, so undeniable as that which we shall immediately lay before you;” and Mr. Clapp sat down, running his fingers through his curls.

The court here adjourned for an hour. The curiosity of the audience seemed thoroughly excited; when the judges reassembled, the room was even more crowded than in the morning.

Before calling up the witnesses, Mr. Reed spoke for five minutes; his dignified manner was a favourable preparation for the testimony in the plaintiff’s behalf.

The first fact proved, was the resemblance of the plaintiff to William Stanley; this point was thoroughly investigated, and settled without difficulty in favour of the plaintiff — some half-a-dozen witnesses swearing to the identity, according to the best of their belief. The fact that the defendants themselves had acknowledged the personal resemblance, was also made to appear; and Mr. Reed introduced the identity of handwriting to strengthen the personal identity — several witnesses giving their testimony on the subject. It seemed indeed, clear, from the whole of this part of the evidence, that there was no rational ground to doubt any other difference, either in the personal resemblance or the handwriting, than what might naturally exist in the same man, at the ages of eighteen and thirty-seven.

The statement offered to the defendants some months since, tracing the last career of the plaintiff was now introduced, and the principal facts legally proved by different witnesses. Officers and sailors of different vessels in which he had sailed, were sworn. Among others, Captain — — — — — — , of the packet ship ***, testified to the plaintiff’s having sailed in his vessel, under the name of William Stanley, nine years previously; and it was very clearly proved, that at different intervals since then, he had continued to bear the same name, although he had also shipped under those of Bennet, Williams, and Benson. The statement, as given already in our pages, was borne out satisfactorily in most of its important facts by the evidence; although on some points the counsel for the plaintiffs confessed, that they had not been able to obtain all the legal proofs they had wished for. After tracing the plaintiff’s steps as a sailor, the fact of his having been long endeavouring to bring forward the claim he now made, was examined. Mr. G — — — — — — , a highly respectable lawyer of Baltimore, testified to the fact that several years previously, the plaintiff had applied to him to undertake the case then before the court; to speak frankly, this evidence surprised the defendants, who were scarcely prepared for it. Then came proof of the different applications to Mr. Clapp, his several visits to Longbridge, and his presence at Wyllys-Roof six years previously, when locked up in the out-house by Hazlehurst; Mr. Clapp repeating at this moment, a very broad insinuation, that the defendant knew the claims of the individual he had put in confinement. His willingness to be examined, his ready consent to an interview with Mr. Wyllys, Mrs. Stanley, and Hazlehurst, the close examination which he bore at Wyllys-Roof, were brought forward; and Mr. Clapp managed to introduce most of the important questions of the defendants at that time, with the accurate answers of the plaintiff, in his account of that meting.

The court adjourned at this time, and many individuals among the audience seemed to incline very decidedly towards the plaintiff. The personal friends of the defendants looked somewhat anxious, although Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst still showed a steady front. The testimony which we have given so briefly, as much of it has already appeared in the narrative, occupied the court more than one day, including the different cross-examinations of several witnesses, by the defendants: this duty fell to the lot of Mr. Grant, who carried it on in his usual dry, sarcastic manner, but was unable to effect any important change in the state of things.

The following morning, the plaintiff’s papers were laid before the court. The volume of the Spectator, and the letters already produced at Wyllys-Roof, were shown. In addition to these, the following papers were now brought forward: A letter addressed to the name of Benson, on board the British sloop-of-war, Ceres; another directed to William Bennet, on board the Dutch barque William, when at Batavia, nearly eighteen years since; this letter was important, as it was evidently written to an American sailor, and alluded to his having been recently shipwrecked on the coast of Africa, and taken up by a Dutch vessel. These documents were all received with great interest, and their probable authenticity seemed generally admitted. Mr. Reed then observed: “We shall close our evidence, gentlemen, by laying before you testimony, sufficient in itself to prove triumphantly the identity of the plaintiff, when connected with a small portion only of that which has preceded it.”

He drew from his papers an old Russia-leather pocketbook, with the initials W. S.stamped upon it in large Gothic letters.

Mr. Wyllys made an involuntary movement as it was held up for examination; that very pocket-book, or one exactly like it, had he given himself to the son of his old friend, the very last time he saw him. He watched the proceedings at this moment with intense interest- -evident to everybody.

“This pocket-book, gentlemen, is the property of the plaintiff,” continued Mr. Reed. “The initials of his name, W. S., stamped upon it, are half-effaced, yet still sufficiently distinct to tell their story. But the contents of this precious book are of still greater importance to the interests of my client.”

Mr. Reed then opened it and drew from one side a letter, and read the address, “William Stanley, New York, care of Jonas Thomson, Master of the ship Dorothy Beck.” “This letter, gentlemen of the jury, is signed John Stanley — it is from the father of William Stanley, in whose name I now submit it to your examination.” The letter was then read; it corresponded entirely with the circumstances already known to the reader; its date, nature, handwriting, all were perfectly correct, and the signature was sworn to by several witnesses. Mr. Wyllys was evidently moved when the letter was read; he asked to look at it, and all eyes were turned on his venerable countenance, as he silently examined the paper. It was remarked that the hand which held the letter was not steady, and the features which bent over it betrayed perceptible agitation. Mr. Wyllys turned to Hazlehurst, as he finished reading the sheet.

“It is undeniably genuine; the letter of John Stanley to his son!” he said.

A short consultation succeeded between the defendants. Hazlehurst wrote a line or two on a slip of paper, and handed it to Mr. Wyllys, and then to Ellsworth and Mr. Grant.

“Will the counsel for the plaintiff tell us, why these documents were not produced at the interview with the defendants?” asked Mr. Ellsworth.

“We had several reasons for not doing so,” replied Mr. Clapp. “Had our client not been received so coldly, and every effort employed to misunderstand him, we should have produced them earlier; although it would have been impossible to have shown them at that meeting, since they were not then in our possession.”

“Will the plaintiff state where, and from whom he first received that pocket-book?” asked Mr. Grant.

Here the counsel for the plaintiff consulted together a moment. It seemed as if their client was willing to answer the question; and that Mr. Reed advised his doing so, but Mr. Clapp opposed it.

“The defendants must be aware,” he said, “that they had no right to question his client; Mr. Stanley therefore declined answering; he had already, at the proper time and place, answered many inquiries of theirs, in a manner which had, doubtless, appeared satisfactory to the court, although it had not satisfied the defendants. Mr. Stanley had lost all hope of answering any question of the defendants, in a manner satisfactory to them.”

Here the defendants were engaged for a moment in making notes.

Mr. Reed proceeded with the contents of the pocket-book. “The letter of the father to his erring son, is not the only testimony we shall produce from the pocket-book of my client, gentlemen.”

A printed slip of newspaper, soiled, and yellow with age, was then drawn from one of the pockets, and read by Mr. Reed: “Married, Wednesday, the 10ᵗʰ, at Trinity Church, New York, by the Rev. Charles G. Stanley, John Stanley, of Greatwood, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth, daughter of the late Myndert Van Ryssen, of Poughkeepsie.”

Again the defendants showed evident interest. Mr. Wyllys passed his hand over his face, to drive away melancholy recollections of the past; the present Mrs. Stanley was Miss Van Ryssen, and at that marriage he had stood by the side of his friends, as the priest united them.

“Is not that a touching memorial, gentlemen, of the workings of natural feeling in the heart of a misguided boy? He had left his father, left his home, left his friends in a fit of reckless folly, but when he meets with the name of the parent from whom he is estranged, in an American paper, in a distant land, he cuts the paragraph from the sheet, and it is carefully preserved among his precious things, during many succeeding years of hardships, and of wrongs. But there is another striking fact connected with that scrap of paper; the individual whose name stands there, as connected in the closest of human ties with the young man’s father, is the same, whose legal representative I now see before me, prepared to oppose, by every means in his power, the claim of the son to the inheritance bequeathed him, with the forgiveness of his dying father. The simplest language I can choose, will best express the force of facts so painful. The circumstances are before you; it rests with you to say, whether tardy justice shall not at length make some amends for the wrongs of the last eighteen years.”

The defendants here asked to look at the paper; they could find no fault with it; in texture, colour, accuracy, every point, it corresponded with what it should be.

Mr. Reed paused an instant, and then continued. “But, gentlemen of the jury, this old and well-worn pocket-book, the companion of my client’s wanderings, and hard fortunes; the letter from the father to the son, received as authentic, without an instant’s hesitation, by the defendants themselves; the marriage notice of the deceased father and the step-mother, now his legal opponent, are not the only proofs to be drawn from this portion of our testimony.”

Mr. Reed then opened the pocket-book, and showed that it had originally contained a number of leaves of blank paper; these leaves were partially covered with the hand-writing of William Stanley. The date of his going to sea, and the names of the vessels he had sailed in, were recorded. Brief, random notes occurred, of no other importance than that of proving the authenticity of the pocket-book. A sailor’s song was written on one page; another was half-covered with figures, apparently some trifling accounts of his own. The date of a particular storm of unusual severity, was put down, with the latitude and longitude in which it occurred, the number of hours it lasted, and the details of the injury done to the vessel. This rude journal, if such it may be called, was handed to the jury, and also examined by the defendants.

Mr. Grant took it, observing with his usual set expression, and caustic manner, that “it was certainly the pocket-book of a sailor, probably the pocket-book of William Stanley. It was connected with a singular story, a very singular story indeed; but, really, there was one fact which made it altogether the most extraordinary compound of leather and paper, that ever happened to fall in his way. If he was not mistaken, he had understood that the plaintiff, among other remarkable adventures, claimed to have just escaped drowning, by the skin of his teeth, when picked up on the coast of Africa, in the winter of 181-. His pocket-book seemed to have borne the shipwreck equally well; it was landed high and dry in that court-house, without a trace of salt-water about it. How did the plaintiff manage to preserve it so well? He should like the receipt, it might prove useful.”

{“receipt” = recipe}

Mr. Grant had been looking down very attentively at the pocket-book while speaking, occasionally holding it up for others to see, with studied carelessness; as he put the question, he suddenly raised his eyes, without changing his position, and fixed them searchingly, with a sort of ironical simplicity, on Mr. Clapp and his client.

“I can tell him all about it,” the plaintiff was heard to say, by those near him.

There was a moment’s consultation between the plaintiff and his counsel. A juror then expressed a wish to hear the explanation.

Mr. Clapp rose and said: “When Mr. Stanley was picked up by the ‘William,’ does the counsel for my client’s step-mother suppose, that he was the only remnant of the wreck floating about? If he does, he happens to be mistaken. Mr. Stanley says there were two others of the crew picked up at the time he was, with the hope of restoring life, but they were dead. There were also several chests, and various other objects brought on board the ‘William.’ One of the chests was his client’s. The pocket-book was contained in a tin box, which happened to be wrapped in a piece of old sail-cloth, and nothing in the box was wet. It contained several old bank-notes, besides the pocket-book, and they were not wet. He hoped the counsel for his client’s step-mother was satisfied.”

Mr. Grant bowed. “Much obliged for the explanation; but he was still inclined to think, that there must have been some peculiar process employed with that highly important pocket-book.”

Mr. Clapp replied by a short burst of indignation, at the intolerable insinuations of his opponent, and appealed to the court to silence them. Mr. Grant was accordingly reminded by the judge, that unless he had something beyond mere insinuations to offer, his remarks could not be listened to. Mr. Reed then related how these papers had been lost by his client, some years since; they had been left in a box at a boarding-house, during a voyage he made in the Pacific; the house was burnt down, and Mr. Stanley had believed his papers lost, until he recently heard they were in possession of a shipmate, at New Bedford. Mr. Clapp and himself had gone there, and easily obtained them again from Robert Stebbins, the man in whose hands they had been since the fire. The fact of the fire was proved; Stebbins was sworn, and testified to having saved the box with his own effects, and his having quite lately returned it to the owner, on first hearing an account of the suit in which he was engaged. This part of the testimony was clearly laid before the court by Mr. Reed; and the evidence for the plaintiffs was closed, with these papers, and the examination of Stebbins, through whose hands they had come.

The cross-examination of the different witnesses was still conducted by Mr. Grant; several of the witnesses were made to contradict each other, and partially to contradict themselves; but as it was only on points of minor importance, no material change could be effected in the general appearance of things, in spite of all Mr. Grant’s ingenuity. He kept Stebbins a long time on the stand; and once or twice this individual seemed a good deal confused in manner and expression; still nothing important could be drawn from him, his account of the papers corresponding sufficiently well with that of the plaintiff.

It was late in the afternoon when the proceedings of the trial reached this stage, and the court adjourned. Some of Hazlehurst’s friends were uneasy, others were confident of success; Mr. Stryker declared he thought the sailor had made out a very strong case, and he predicted that he would gain the suit. It is not to be supposed that Mrs. Stanley, and the ladies at Wyllys-Roof, were left in ignorance of what passed in the court-room. Robert Hazlehurst, at whose house Mrs. Stanley and Miss Wyllys were staying, made brief notes of the proceedings every few hours, and sent them to his wife and friends, who despatched them by every mail to the younger ladies at Wyllys-Roof.

When the court met again, the time for the defendants to be heard had arrived.

The defence was opened by Hazlehurst; he had had but little practice at the bar, but, like most educated Americans, it required but little to fit him for speaking in public. His voice was good, his manner and appearance were highly in his favour; he had the best of materials to work with, native ability, cultivated by a thorough education, and supported by just views and sound principles. Energy of character and feeling helped him also; warming as he proceeded, he threw himself fully into his subject, and went on with a facility surprising to himself, and far surpassing the most sanguine expectations of his friends. As for his opponents, they had anticipated very little from him. We give a sketch of his opening remarks:

“It is the first time, gentlemen,” he said, on rising to speak, “that the individual who now addresses you, has ever appeared in a high court of justice, as an act of self-defence. I have never yet been solemnly called upon to account for my past actions by any fellow-creature. My moral motives have never yet been publicly impugned. The position in which I now stand, accused of denying the just rights of another, of wilfully withholding the parental inheritance from the son of my benefactor, is therefore as novel to myself in its whole character, as it must appear remarkable to you in its peculiar circumstances.

“I have already learned, however, during the few years that I have filled a place on the busy stage of active life, that in the world to which we belong, Truth herself is compelled to appear on the defensive, nearly as often, perhaps, as Error. I have no right therefore to complain. So long as I am included in the same accusation, so long as I am associated in the same defence with the venerable man at my side — one, whose honourable career has furnished to the community represented by this assembly, a noble model of conduct during three- score years and ten; one whom it has been the especial object of my endeavours to follow, in my own path through life — so long, I can have no wish to shrink from the situation in which I am placed; I can find no room for doubts or misgivings, as to the wisdom and rectitude of the course I have adopted.

“That the position, however, in which we stand before you, on the present occasion, gentlemen, is one that requires explanation, we readily admit; it is too remarkable in its particulars to escape the searching inquiry of justice. We appear in this court, the executors and legatee of Mr. Stanley — his widow, his nearest friend, and his adopted representative — to deny a claim, just in itself, advanced in the name of his only son. Such a position must be either quite untenable, totally unjustifiable, an outrage upon the common decency of society, or it must stand on the firm foundation of truth. You will easily believe, that such a position would never have been taken, under circumstances so extraordinary, by three individuals, possessing only a common share of honesty and good sense, unless they had held it to be one which they could maintain. You will readily admit, that it is the very last position which a man of clear integrity, good character, and natural feeling would wish to assume, unless acting from conscientious motives, and guided by sound reason.

“I have no wish to parade a stoical indifference to the pecuniary interests at stake to-day; they are such as must seriously affect my fortunes for years, possibly for life. A cause involving so large a sum of money, so fine a landed estate, honourably acquired by the late proprietor, and generously bequeathed to myself, must necessarily include many interests of a varied character. Many grateful recollections of the past, many hopes for the future, have been connected in my mind with the house at Greatwood; from early boyhood I have been taught to look forward to it, as a home and a resting-place, when the busiest years of life shall have passed. These interests, however, although among the best enjoyments of existence, are of a nature entirely personal, forgive me, if for a moment I have glanced at them. But, gentlemen, if I have always valued the bequest of Mr. Stanley, from its own intrinsic importance, from the many advantages it has already procured me, from the hopes with which it is connected, and from the grateful recollection, that to the friendly affection of my benefactor I owe its possession, yet, I solemnly affirm, in the hearing of hundreds of witnesses, that there is no honest occupation, however humble, no labour, however toilsome, that I would not at this instant cheerfully exchange for it, rather than retain that inheritance one hour from its rightful owner, could I believe him to be living.

“No human being, I trust, who knows the principles from which I have hitherto acted, can show just ground for mistrusting this declaration.

“But, fellow-citizens of the jury, to you I am a stranger. There is not one of your number, as I now scan the faces in your box, that I recognize as that of an acquaintance. I cannot, therefore, expect you to believe this assertion, unsupported by evidence of its truth. I willingly leave vain declamation to those who have no better weapon to work with; were it in my power to influence your decision, by volleys of words without meaning, sound without sense, such as only too often assail the ears of judges and juries, respect for the honourable office you now fill, would deter me from following such a course; self-respect would naturally prevent me from following so closely the example of the orator who first addressed you on behalf of the plaintiff. I have often before heard that orator, fellow-citizens of the jury; this is not the first occasion upon which I have listened with simple wonder, to a fluency which ever flows undisturbed, undismayed, whether the obstacles in its way be those of law or justice, reason or truth. But if I have wondered at a facility so remarkable, never, for a single instant, have I wished to rival this supple dexterity. It is an accomplishment one can scarcely envy. On the other hand, these wholesale supplies of bombastic declamation form so large a part of the local stock in trade of the individual to whom I refer, that it would seem almost cruel to deprive him of them; we have all heard a common expression, more easily understood than explained, but which would be quite applicable to the pitiable state of the counsel for the plaintiff, when deprived of his chief support, his favourite modes of speech — he would then be reduced, gentlemen, to less than nothing.” Hazlehurst’s face was expressive enough as he uttered these words.

“No, fellow-citizens of the jury, I shall not ask you to believe a single assertion of my own, unsustained by proof. At the proper moment, the testimony which we possess in favour of the death of Mr. Stanley’s son, and the facts which have led us to mistrust the strange story which you have just heard advanced in behalf of the plaintiff, will be laid before you. At present, suffer me, for a moment longer, to refer to the leading motives which have induced us to appear in this court, as defendants, under circumstances so singular.

“The importance which, as legatee of Mr. Stanley, I attach to his generous gift has not been denied. But, independently of this, there are other causes sufficient in themselves to have brought me into this hall, and these motives I share with the friends associated in the same defence. If we conceive ourselves to be justified in refusing the demand of the plaintiff, as a consequence of this conviction, we must necessarily hold it to be an imperative duty to repel, by every honest means in our power, a claim we believe false. This is a case which allows of no medium course. On one hand, either we, the defendants, are guilty of an act of the most cruel injustice; or, on the other, the individual before you, assuming the name of William Stanley, is an impostor. The opinion of those most intimately connected with the late Mr. Stanley, is clearly proclaimed, by the stand they have deliberately taken, after examining the evidence with which the plaintiff advances his extraordinary claim. This individual who, from his own account, was content to remain for years in a state of passive indifference to the same important inheritance, now claimed so boldly, in defiance of so many obstacles, we believe to be an impostor; not a single, lingering scruple prevents my repeating the declaration, that I believe him to be a bold and daring impostor.

“With this opinion, is it expected that I shall calmly endure that one, whose only title consists in his cunning and his audacity, should seize with impunity, property, legally and justly my own? Is it believed that I shall stand idly by, without a struggle to defend the name of my deceased benefactor from such impudent abuse? That I should be content to see the very hearth-stone of my friend seized, by the grossest cupidity? That I should surrender the guardianship of his grave to one, with whom he never had a thought, a feeling, a sympathy in common? — to one, who would not scruple to sell that grave for a bottle of rum?

“Every feeling revolts at the thought of such a shameful neglect of duty! No; I acknowledge myself bound, by every obligation, to oppose to the last extremity, such an audacious invasion of right and truth. Every feeling of respect and gratitude to the memory of my benefactor, urges me forward; while all the attachment of the friend, and all the affection of the widow, revive, and unite in the defence.

“But, fellow-citizens of the jury, my own personal rights, sufficient on a common occasion to rouse any man, the duties owed by each of the defendants to the memory of Mr. Stanley — duties sacred in the eyes of every right-thinking man, these are not the only motives which call upon us to oppose the plaintiff, to repel with all the strength we can command this daring act of piracy.

“There is another duty still more urgent, a consideration of a still higher character, involved in the course we pursue to-day. There is one object before us, far surpassing in importance any to which I have yet alluded; it is one, fellow-citizens of the jury, in which each individual of your number is as deeply concerned as ourselves, in which the highest earthly interests of every human being in this community are included; it is the one great object for which these walls were raised, this hall opened, which has placed those honourable men as judges on the seat of justice, which has called you together, from the less important pursuit of your daily avocations, to give an impartial opinion in every case brought before you; it is the high object of maintaining justice in the community to which we all equally belong. I am willing to believe, fellow-citizens of the jury, that you are fully aware of the importance of your own office, of the dignity of this court, of the necessity of its existence, of its activity to protect the honest and inoffensive citizen, against the designing, the unprincipled, and the violent. Such protection we know to be absolutely binding upon every community claiming to be civilized; we know that without it no state of society, at all worthy of the dignity of human nature, at all worthy of the dignity of freemen, can exist; without active justice, indeed, the name of Freedom becomes a mere sound of mockery. I have been taught to hold the opinion, gentlemen, that if there is one obligation more imperative than any other, imposed upon an American by the privileges of his birth-right, it is this very duty of maintaining justice in her full integrity; of raising his voice in her behalf when she is threatened, of raising his arm in her defence when she is assailed. To move at the first clear appeal of justice, is surely one of the chief duties of every American citizen, of every man blessed with freedom of speech and freedom of action; and, surely, if this be a general rule, it would become a double act of moral cowardice, to desert the post, when those individual rights, confided especially to my own protection, including interests so important to myself, are audaciously assailed. If there are circumstances which partially remove the weight of this obligation, of this public struggle for justice, from portions of the community, from the aged, who have already firmly upheld every honourable principle through a long course of years, and from those who are confined by their natural position to the narrow but holy circle of domestic duties; if such be honourable exemptions from bearing the brunt of the battle, it is only to open the front rank to every active citizen, laying claim to manliness and honesty. Such I conceive to be the obligation imposed upon myself, by the demand of the plaintiff. Upon examination, I can find no sufficient evidence to support this claim; it becomes therefore, in my belief, by its very nature, an atrocious outrage alike to the living and the dead — an insulting violation of natural justice and the law of the land, sufficient to rouse every justifiable effort in resistance.

“Whenever attention may be called to a question, of a character audaciously unprincipled, even when quite independent of personal advantage and personal feeling, I should still hope that duty as a man, duty as a freeman, would have sufficient influence over my actions, to urge me forward in opposition to its unrighteous demands, just so far as common sense and true principle shall point the way. Such I conceive to be the character of the present question; were there no pecuniary interest, no individual feeling at stake, I should still conceive it a duty to hold on the present occasion the position in which I now stand.

“The grounds upon which this opinion as to the character of the case has been formed, the grounds upon which we base our defence, must now be laid before you.”

After this opening, Harry proceeded with an outline of the testimony for the defence. His statement was very clear and accurate throughout; but as it contained nothing but what is already known to the reader, we shall omit this part of his remarks.

After he had given a general account of the conduct and views of the defendants, Mr. Ellsworth proceeded to lay the legal evidence in their possession, before the court. The first point examined, was the testimony they had received as to the death of William Stanley. The wreck of the Jefferson was easily proved, by a letter from the captain of the American ship Eagle, who had spoken the Jefferson the morning of the gale in which she was lost, and having safely rode out the storm himself, had afterwards seen the wreck. This letter was written on Captain Green’s arrival in port, and was in answer to inquiries of Mr. Wyllys; besides an account of the gale, and the wreck of the Jefferson, it contained the united opinions of his mates and himself, that no one could have escaped, unless under very extraordinary circumstances, as the vessel herself had foundered, and no boat could have lived in such a tempest. During a calm which had followed the gale, they had fallen in with fragments of the wreck, some of which had been used in repairing their own vessel; they had seen several dead bodies, and had taken up an empty boat, and several other objects, but nothing which threw farther light on the subject. William Stanley’s name, as one of the crew of the Jefferson, was next produced; this part of the testimony came through our acquaintance, Mr. Hopkins, who had been the owner of the Jefferson. Then came proofs of the many efforts made by the executors, to obtain accounts of Mr. Stanley’s son, by advertisements to sailors and shipmasters, in all the great ports of the country, repeated during five years; many letters and communications were also produced, all strengthening the report of the young man’s death. An agent had been employed by Mrs. Stanley, for one year, with no other object than that of searching for intelligence of her step- son; the man himself was dead, but his letters were read, and sworn to by his wife. Only once had the executors obtained a faint hope of the young man’s existence; the second-mate of a whaler reported that he had known a William Stanley, a foremast hand, in the Pacific; but eventually it appeared, that the man alluded to was much older than Mr. Stanley’s son, and his name was Sanley. Nothing could be more clearly proved, than the efforts of the executors to obtain accurate intelligence as to the young man’s fate; and it was also evident from the reports received, that they could have had no good reason to doubt his death. The next points examined, included the person and conduct of the plaintiff. The bad character of the plaintiff was made to appear in the course of this examination; “a character which seems at least to have always clung to that individual, under the various names it has pleased him to assume at different times,” observed Mr. Ellsworth. It was clearly shown that he was considered a man of no principles, even among his comrades. The personal identity was fully examined; this part of the testimony excited intense interest among the audience, while even the court seemed to listen with increased attention. The opinions of the different witnesses on this point were not disputed; the general resemblance of the plaintiff to the Stanleys was not denied; the similarity of handwriting was also admitted; but Mr. Ellsworth argued, that such resemblances, among persons who were in no way related to each other, were not uncommon; probably every individual in that court-room had been told fifty times, that he was like A., B., or C. Occasionally, such resemblances were really very marked indeed. He then cited the instance of a man who was hanged in England, on this very ground of personal identity, sworn to by many individuals; and yet, a year after, it was discovered that the real criminal was living; and these two men, so strikingly alike, had never even seen each other, nor were they in any manner related to each other. But who could say whether the plaintiff were actually so much like William Stanley? It was not certain that any individual in that room had seen the young man for eighteen years; but one of the defendants had any distinct recollection of him, even at that time; the colour of the hair, and a general resemblance in complexion and features, might well be the amount of all that could be advanced in favour of the likeness; the plaintiff resembled the Stanleys, father and son; but probably a hundred other men might be picked up in the country, in whom the same resemblance might be found — men who laid no claim to the name or estate of Mr. Stanley. Similarity of handwriting was not uncommon either; and here some dozen notes and letters were produced, and proved to a certain degree that this assertion was correct; in several cases the resemblance was very great; and Mr. Ellsworth maintained, that with the documents in the possession of the sailor, undeniably written by young Stanley, any common writer, devoid of honesty, might have moulded his hand by practice to an imitation of it, sufficient for forgery. So much for the resemblance; he would now point out the difference between the plaintiff and William Stanley in two points, which, if clearly proved, must convince the jury that identity was utterly impossible, a pure fiction, a gross deception. He then produced the portrait of William Stanley; after acknowledging that there was some general resemblance, he suddenly showed the difference in the formation of the hands, fingers, and nails, between the boy and the plaintiff. This difference was indeed striking, for Ellsworth took a moment to point it out, when the sailor was in court, and engaged in putting a piece of tobacco in his mouth, and his hands were in full view. For a second he seemed out of countenance, but he soon resumed the confident look he had worn throughout. Mr. Ellsworth entered very minutely into this fact, showing that painters usually gave a correct idea of the hand, when it was introduced in a portrait; and the impossibility of the natural formation of the hand being entirely changed, either by time or hard work, was proved by the testimony of anatomists. The family physician of the late Mr. Stanley was an important witness at this stage of the trial; he swore to the fidelity of the portrait, and confirmed the fact of the particular formation of William Stanley’s limbs when a boy; he thought it very improbable that a lad of his frame and constitution would ever become as heavy and robust as the plaintiff. He was asked by a juror if he thought this impossible? “No; he could not say it was impossible.” The difference in gait was then examined.

{“spoken the Jefferson” = sailed past and communicated with}

“There is yet another point to be examined,” said Ellsworth, “similar in nature, but still more decided in its bearing.” He then brought forward all the testimony that had been collected, as to the temper and capacity of William Stanley; it was clearly proved, chiefly by the young man’s tutors and companions, that he was morose and stubborn in disposition, and dull in intellect. So far this point was easily settled; but it was difficult to place the opposite facts, of the cleverness and better temper of the plaintiff, as clearly before the court as they had appeared to the defendants. Any one who had seen him under the same circumstances as Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, during the last three months, would have been convinced of this difference; but in the court-room it was not so easy to place the matter beyond dispute, although two witnesses gave their opinions on this point, under oath, and Ellsworth did all he could, by attracting attention to the plaintiff, to his manner and expression; but he was not quite satisfied with the result of his own endeavours.

“Let us now look at the conduct of this individual; we shall find it, I think, quite inconsistent with that any man of plain, good sense, would have supposed the most easy and natural course under the circumstances; while, on the other hand, it is entirely consistent throughout, in being strongly marked with the stamp of improbability, in its general aspect, and in its details.” After a review of the plaintiff’s course, as it stood in his own statement, he proceeded to investigate his conduct during the last three months, maintaining, that had he really been William Stanley, he would have presented himself long since to Mr. Wyllys, unsupported by Mr. Clapp; he would not have found it necessary to visit Greatwood, and examine the house and place so thoroughly, before submitting to an examination; he would not have waited to be examined, he would voluntarily have told his own story in a manner to produce undeniable conviction. For instance, but a few weeks since, when, if we may believe his story, that pocket- book came into his possession again, had he gone to Mr. Wyllys, shown it, and merely told him accurately, from whom, when, and where he had first received it, he would have been immediately recognized as the individual he claims to be. Had he been William Stanley, he could have told those simple facts, he would have told them; while they were facts which it was impossible that an impostor should know, since they were confined entirely to Mr. Wyllys and his friend’s son — Mr. Wyllys himself having given the pocket-book to William Stanley when they were alone together. He appealed to every man there present, what would have been his own conduct under such circumstances? As to the readiness of Mr. Wyllys to receive William Stanley, could he believe him living, it was proved by the past conduct of the executors, their anxiety to obtain a correct account of the young man’s fate, their hopes at first, their regrets at last, when hope had died away. Ellsworth closed his speech by observing, that after this review of the circumstances, considering the striking differences pointed out in person, temper, and capacity, from those of William Stanley, the irreconciliable difference in the gait and formation of the limbs, and the unnatural conduct of the plaintiff throughout, had Mr. Wyllys received this man as William Stanley, the son of his deceased friend, it would have been a gross neglect of duty on his part.

There now remained but one act to complete the defence. It was concluded by Mr. Grant, who went over the whole case in a speech, in his usual well-known manner, learned and close in its reasoning, caustic and severe in its remarks on the opposite party. His general view was chiefly legal; occasionally, however, he introduced short and impressive remarks on the general aspect of the case, and the particular character of the most suspicious facts presented by the plaintiff; he was severe upon Mr. Clapp, showing a shrewd and thorough knowledge of the man, and the legal species to which he belonged. The Longbridge lawyer put on an increase of vulgar nonchalance for the occasion, but he was unable to conceal entirely his uneasiness under the sharp and well-aimed hits of one, so much his superior in standing and real ability. Mr. Grant dwelt particularly upon the suspicious appearance of the facts connected with the volume of the Spectator, and the pocket-book, both of which he admitted to have belonged to William Stanley originally; and he seemed to manage the difference in temper and capacity more effectually than Mr. Ellsworth had done. His speech was listened to with the closest attention during several hours; after having reviewed the testimony on both sides and finished his legal survey of the ground, he concluded as follows:

“Gentlemen of the jury; the facts of this case are before you, so far at least as we could reach them; there are doubtless others behind the curtain which might prove highly important in assisting your decision. You have followed me over the dull track of the law wherever it led us near this case, and I thank you for the patience you have shown. The subject is now fully before you, and I conceive that you will agree with me that in the present case, the counsel for the plaintiff have undertaken a task of no ordinary difficulty. It seems a task by no means enviable under any of its different aspects; but really, in the whole course of my experience at the bar, it has never yet fallen to my lot to witness so startling a feat of legal legerdemain, as that attempted in this court-room by the counsel for the plaintiff. I conceive, gentlemen, that they are engaged in a task seldom attempted since the days of wizards and necromancers — they have undertaken to raise a ghost!”

It was now time for the plaintiff’s lawyers to close the trial. Mr. Clapp wished to speak again, but Mr. Reed took the case entirely in his own hands; he was evidently firmly convinced of the identity of his client with William Stanley, and the natural indignation he felt at the accusations of the defendants, and the treatment the sailor had received from the executors, gave unusual warmth to his manner, which was generally calm; it was remarked that he had never made a stronger speech than on that occasion. He did not dispute the honesty of the opinions of Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, but he conceived they had no right to hold such opinions after examining the testimony in behalf of the plaintiff. He conceived that the defendant attached an importance altogether puerile to mere common probability, every-day probability; how many facts, now proved as clearly as human evidence can prove, have worn at first an improbable aspect to many minds! How many legal cases of an improbable nature might be cited! He would only allude to a few; and here he went over several remarkable cases on record.

“And yet he would even engage to answer the objections against his client on this very ground of probability; much had been said about the volume of the Spectator, but Mr. Hazlehurst could not swear to having read it at Greatwood four years since; while it appeared on cross- examination that his brother had the same edition of that book in Philadelphia, and that Mr. H. was in the habit of reading his brother’s books; it also appeared that other volumes had been lost from the house at Greatwood in the course of the last four years. He held it then to be clearly probable; first, that Mr. H. had not read that identical volume shown at the interview, but one belonging to his brother; secondly, that the same volume had not been lost within the last four years; that others had been lost was certain, but that this volume had been in the possession of his client for nearly twenty years was probable.” He went on in the same way to prove the probability of his client’s gait having been changed, like that of other sailors, by a life at sea; that his whole body had become heavier and coarser from twenty years’ hard work, and change of habits. He here made Dr. B., the physician who had testified on this subject, appear in a ridiculous light, by quoting some unfortunately obscure remarks he had made under cross-examination.

“Then, as to his client’s temper, he hoped it had improved with age, but he thought that point had not been as clearly settled as his best friends could wish; still, it was by no means improbablethat it had improved under the salutary restraints of greater intercourse with the world. Who has not known persons whose tempers have become better under such circumstances? As to the capacity of his client, that had also probablybeen roused into greater activity by the same circumstances. Who has not heard of striking instances in which boys have been pronounced stupid by their masters and playfellows, and yet the same lads have afterwards turned out even brilliant geniuses?” He mentioned several instances of this kind. He went over the most striking features of the whole case in this manner, but we are necessarily compelled to abridge his remarks. “He accepted this ground of probability fully and entirely; the conduct of his client had been thought unnatural; he conceived that the very same stubborn, morose disposition, which the defendants had laboured so hard to fasten upon William Stanley, would account in the most probablemanner for all that had been unusual in the conduct of his client. The same boy who at fifteen had so recklessly exchanged a pleasant home and brilliant prospects for a sailor’s hardships, might very naturally have continued to feel and to act as the plaintiff had done.”

He then brought together all the points in favour of the sailor, “The resemblance between the plaintiff and William Stanley had been called trifling by the counsel for the defendants; he considered it a remarkably strong resemblance, since it included not only acknowledged personal likeness, but also similarity of handwriting, of age, of occupation, the possession of documents admitted to be authentic by the defendants themselves, with knowledge of past events, persons, and places, such as would be natural in William Stanley but quite beyond the reach of a common stranger. He conceived that the great number of different points in his client’s favour was a far stronger ground for the truth of his claim, than any one fact, however striking, standing alone. He held that this mass of evidence, both positive and circumstantial, could be accounted for in no other way at all probable, than by admitting the identity of his client. He conceived it also probable that any unprejudiced man would take the same view of this case; a case singular in its first aspect, though not more singular than hundreds of others on record, and entirely within the bounds of possibility in every fact, while it assumed greater probability the farther it was examined.” He then adverted to several points merely legal, and finally concluded by a strong appeal in behalf of the plaintiff.

The judge rose to make his charge; it was strictly legal and impartial, chiefly reminding the jury that they were to decide entirely from the facts which had been placed before them; if they thought the evidence to which they listened sufficient to prove legally the identity of the plaintiff as William Stanley, they must give a verdict in his favour; if they held that evidence to be incomplete and insufficient, according to the legal views which must be their guide, they must pronounce a verdict in favour of the defendants: concluding with explaining one or two legal points, and an injunction to weigh the whole evidence impartially, the judge took his seat.

The jury rose; marshalled by constables and headed by their foreman, they turned from the box and left the court-room to consider their verdict.

Another cause was called. The parties interested, their friends, and the crowd of curious spectators poured from the building, discussing as they moved along the probable result, which could scarcely be known until the next morning, for it was late on the fourth night that the trial closed.