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hall of the twelve Judges. My brother Downright,
who was impatiently expecting my appearance,
instantly arose and moved the bench to issue a
mandamus for a stay of execution, in the case of
"Regina versus Noah Poke, or No. 1, sea- water-
color. By the statute of the 2d of Longevity and
Flirtilla, it was enacted, my Lords," put in the Briga
dier, " that in no case shall a convicted felon suffer
loss of life, or limb, while it can be established that
he is non compos mentis. This is also a rule, my
Lords, of common law but being common sense
and common monikinity, it has been thought pru
dent to enforce it by an especial enactment. I pre
sume Mr. Attorney-General for the Queen wih
scarcely dispute the law of the case "

"Not at all, my Lords though I have some
doubts as to the fact The fact remains to be es
tablished," answered the other, taking snuff.

" The fact is certain, and will not admit of cavil
In the case of Rex versus Noah Poke, the court
ordered the punishment of decaudisation to take pre
cedence of that of decapitation, in the case of Regina
versus the same. Process had been issued from the


bench to that effect; the culprit has, in consequence,
lost his cauda, and with it his reason; a creature
without reason has always been held to be non
compos mentis, and by the law of the land is not
liable to the punishments of life or limb."

" Your law is plausible, my brother Downright,"
observed my Lord Chief Justice, " but it remains
for the bench to be put in possession of the facts.
At the next term, you will perhaps be better pre
pared "

" I pray you, my Lord, to remember that this is
a case which will not admit of three months' delay."

" We can decide the principle a year hence, as
well as to-day; and we have now sat longer in
banco" looking at his watch, " than is either usual,
agreeable, or expedient."

" But, my Lords, the proof is at hand. Here is
a witness to establish that the cauda of Noah Poke,
the defendant of record, has actually been sepa
rated from his body "

" Nay nay my brother Downright, a barrister
of your experience must know that the twelve can
only take evidence on affidavit. If you had an
affidavit prepared, we might possibly find time to
hear it, before we adjourn, as it is, the affair must
lie over to another sitting."

I was now in a cold sweat, for I could distinctly
scent the peculiar odor of the burning taih; the
ashes of which being fairly thrown into Noah's face,
there remained no further obstacle to the process of
decapitation, the sentence, it will be remembered,
having kept his countenance on his shoulders,
expressly for that object. My brother Downright,
however, was not a lawyer to be defeated by so
simple a stumbling-block. Seizing a paper that was
already written over in a good legal hand, which
happened to be lying before him, he read it, with
out pause or hesitation, in the following manner :


"Regina versus Noah Poke.
Kingdom of Leaphigh, Season of Nuts, >

this fourth day of the Moon. { Personally ap
peared before me, Meditation, Lord Chief Justice
of the Court of King's Bench, John Goldencalf
Baronet, of the Kingdom of Great Britain, who,
being duly sworn, doth depose and say, viz., That
he, the said deponent, was present at, and did wit
ness the decaudisation of the defendant in this suit,
and that the tail of the said Noah Poke, or No. 1,
sca-water-color, hath been truly and physically se
parated from his body. And further this deponent
sayeth not. Signature, &c."

Having read, in the most fluent manner, the fore
going affidavit, (which existed only in his own brain,)
my brother Downright desired the court to take my
deposition to its truth.

" John Goldencalf, Baronet," said the Chief Jus
tice, " you have heard what has just been read ; do
you swear to its truth ?"

" I do."

Here, the affidavit was signed by both my Lord
Chief Justice and myself, and it was duly put on
file. I afterwards learned that the paper used by
my brother Downright on this memorable occasion,
was no other than the notes which the Chief Jus
tice himself had taken on one of the arguments in
the case in question, and, that seeing the names and
title of the cause, besides finding it no easy matter
to read his own writing, that high officer of the
crown had, very naturally, supposed that all was
right. As to the rest of the bench, they were in
too great a hurry to go to dinner, to stop and read
affidavits, and the case was instantly disposed of,
by the following decision.

" Regina versus Noah Poke, &c. Ordered, That
he culprit be considered non compos mentis, and


that he be discharged, on finding security to keep
the peace for the remainder of his natural life."

An officer was instantly dispatched to the great
square with this reprieve, and the court rose. I
delayed a little in order to enter into the necessary
recognizances in behalf of Noah, taking up at the
same time, the bonds given the previous nignt, for
his appearance to answer to the indictments. These
forms being duly complied with, my brother Down
right and myself repaired to the place of execution,
in order to congratulate our client, the former
justly elated with his success, which he assured me
was not a little to the credit of his own education.

We found Noah surprisingly relieved by his libe
ration from the hands of the Philistines ; nor was
he at all backward in expressing his satisfaction at
the unexpected turn things had taken. According
to his account of the matter, he did not set a higher
value on his head than another ; still, it was con
venient to have one; had it been necessary to
part with it, he made no doubt he should have
submitted to do so like a man, referring to the forti
tude with which he had borne the amputation of
his cauda, as a proof of his resolution ; for his part,
he should take very good care how he accused any
one with having a memory, or any thing else, again,
and he now saw the excellence of those wise pro
visions of the laws, which cut up a criminal in
order to prevent the repetition of his offences ; he
did not intend to stay much longer on shore, believ
ing he should be less in the way of temptation on
Doard the Walrus than among the monikins ; and,
as for his own people, he was sure of soon catch
ing them on board again, for they had now been
off their pork twenty-four hours, and nuts were
but poor grub for fore-mast hands, after all ; phi
losophers might say what they pleased about go
vernments, but, in his opinion, the only ra'al tyrant


r>n 'arth was the belly; he did not remember ever
to have had a struggle with his belly and he had
a thousand that the belly did n't get the better;
that it would be awkward to lay down the title of
Lord High Admiral, but it was easier to lay down
that than to lay down his head ; that as for a cauda,
though it was certainly agreeable to be in the fash
ion, he could do very well without one, and when
he got back to Stunnin'tun, should the worst come
to the worst, there was a certain saddler in the
place, who could give him as good a fit as the one
he had lost ; that Miss Poke would have been great
ly scandalized, however, had he come home after
decapitation ; that it might be well to sail for Leap-
low, as soon as convenient, for in that country he
understood bobs were in fashion, and he admitted
that he should not like to cruise about Leaphigh,
for any great length of time, unless he could look
as other people look ; for his part, he bore no one
a grudge, and he freely forgave everybody but Bob,
out of whom, the Lord willing, he proposed to have
full satisfaction, before the ship should be twenty-
four hours at sea, &c. &c. &c.

Such was the general tendency of the remarks
of Captain Poke, as we proceeded towards the port,
where he embarked and went on board the Walrus,
with some eagerness, having learned that our rear-
admirals and post-captains had, indeed, yielded to the
calls of nature, and had all gone to their duty, swear
ing they would rather be fore-mast Jacks in a well-
victualled ship, than the King of Leaphigh upon nuts.

The Captain had no sooner entered the boat,
taking his head with him, than I began to make my
acknowledgments to my brother Downright, for the
able manner in which he had defended my fellow
human being ; paying, at the same time, some well-
merited compliments to the ingenious and truly phi-


losophical distinctions of the Leaphigh system of

" Spare your thanks and your commendations, I
beg of you, good Sir John," returned the Brigadier,
as we walked back towards my lodgings. " We
did as well as circumstances would allow ; though
our whole defence would have been upset, had not
the Chief Justice very luckily been unable to read
his own handwriting. As for the principles and
forms of the monikin law, for in these particulars
Leaplow is very much like Leaphigh, as you have
seen them displayed in these two suits, why, they
are such as we have. I do not pretend that they
are faultless ; on the contrary, I could point out
improvements myself but we get on with them as
well as we can : no doubt, among men, you have
codes that will better bear examination."


A neophyte in diplomacy diplomatic introduction a calcu
lation a shipment of Opinions how to choose an invoice,
with an assortment.

I NOW began seriously to think of sailing for Leap-
low; for I confess I was heartily tired of being
thought the governor of his RoyafHighness Prince
Bob, and pined to be restored once more to my pro
per place in society. I was the more incited to make
the change, by the representations of the Brigadier,
who assured me that it was sufficient to come
from foreign parts, to be esteemed a nobleman
in Leaplow, and that I need not apprehend in his
country, any of the ill-treatment I had received in
the one in which I now was. After talking over the
matter, therefore, in a familiar way, we determined
to repair at once to tne Leaplow legation, in order


to ask for our passports, and to offer, at the same
lime, to carry any dispatches that Judge People's
Friend might have prepared for his government,
it being the custom of the Leaplowers to trust to
these God-sends in carrying on their diplomatic

We found the Judge in undress, and a very dif
ferent figure he cut, certainly, from that which he
made when I saw him the previous night at court.
Then he was all queue ; now, he was all bob. He
seemed glad to see us, however, and quite delight
ed when I told him of the intention to sail foi
Leaplow, as soon as the wind served. He instantly
asked a passage for himself, with republican sim

There was to be another turn of the great and
little wheels, he said, and it was quite important to
himself to be on the spot; for, although every thing
was, beyond all question, managed with perfect
republican propriety, yet, somehow, and yet he did
not know exactly how, but somehmv, those who are
on the spot always get the best prizes. If I could
give him a passage, therefore, he would esteem it
a great personal favor; and I might depend on
it, the circumstance would be well received by the
party. Although I did not very well understand
what he meant by this party, which was to view the
act so kindly, I very cheerfully told the Judge that the
apartments lately occupied by my Lord Chatterino
and his friends were perfectly at. his disposal. I
was then asked when I intended to sail ; and the
answer was, the instant the wind hauled, so we
could lay out of the harbour. It might be within
half an hour. Hereupon Judge People's Friend
begged I would have the goodness to wait until he
could hunt up a charg d'affaires. His instructions
were most peremptory never to leave the legation
without a charge* d'affaires ; but he would just brush


his bob, and run into the street, and look up one in
five minutes, if I would promise to wait so long. It
would have been unkind to refuse so trifling a favor
and the promise was given. The Judge must have
run as fast as his legs would carry him ; for, in
about ten minutes, he was back again, with a di
plomatic recruit. He told me his heart had mis
given him sadly. The three first to whom he
offered the place had plumply refused it, and, indeed,
he did not know but he should have a quarrel or
two on his hands ; but, at last, he had luckily found
one who could get nothing else to do, and he pinned
him on the spot.

So far every thing had gone on swimmingly; but
the new charge had, most unfortunately, a very
long cauda, a fashion that was inexorably proscribed
by the Leaplow usages, except in cases where the
representative went to court for it seems the Leap-
low political ethics, like your country buck, has
two dresses ; one for every-day wear, and one for
Sundays. The Judge intimated to his intended substi
tute, that it was absolutely indispensable he should
submit to an amputation, or he could not possibly con
fer the appointment, queues being proscribed at
home by both public opinions, the horizontal and
the perpendicular. To this the candidate objected
that he very well knew the Leaplow usages on this
head, but that he had seen his Excellency himself
going to court with a singularly apparent brush;
and he had supposed from that, and from sundry
other little occurrences he did not care to par
ticularize, that the Leaplowers were not .so bigoted
in their notions, but they could act on the principle
of doing at Rome as is done by the Romans. To
this the Judge replied, that this principle was cer
tainly recognized in all things that were agreeable
and that he knew, from experience, how hard it
was to go in a boo, when all around him went in
30 *


caudts ; but that tails were essentially anti-republi
can, and as such had been formally voted down in
Leaplow, where even the Great Sachem did not
dare to wear one, let him long for it as much as he
would ; and if it were known that a public charge*
offended in this particular, although he might be
momentarily protected by one of the public opinions,
the matter would certainly be taken up by the op
position public opinion, and then the people might
order a new turn of the little wheel, which heaven
it knew ! occurred now a great deal oftener than
was either profitable or convenient

Hereupon the candidate deliberately undid the
fastenings and removed the queue, showing, to our
admiration, that it was false, and that he was, after
all, neither more nor less than a Leaplower in mas
querade ; which, by the way, I afterwards learned,
was very apt to be the case with a great many of
that eminently original people, when they got with
out the limits of their own beloved land. Judge
People's Friend was now perfectly delighted. He
told us this was exactly what he could most have
wished for. "Here is a bob," said he, "for the
horizontals and perpendiculars, and there is a capi
tal ready-made cauda for his Majesty and his Ma
jesty's first-cousin ! A Leaphighized Leaplower,
more especially if there be a dash of caricature
about him, is the very thing in our diplomacy."
Finding matters so much to his mind, the Judge
made out the letter of appointment on the spot, and
then proceeded to give his substftute the usual in

" You are on all occasions," he said, "to take the
utmost care not to offend the court of Leaphigh, or
the meanest of the courtiers, by advancing any of
our peculiar opinions, all of which, beyond dispute,
vou have at your finger-ends ; on this score, you


are to be so particular, that you may even, in youi
own person, pro tempore, abandon republicanism
yea, sacred republicanism itself! knowing that it
can easily be resumed on your return home again;
you are to remember there is nothing so undiploma
tic, or even vulgar, as to have an opinion on any
subject, unless it should be the opinion of the per
sons you may happen to be in company with ; and,
as we have the reputation of possessing that quality
in an eminent degree, everywhere but at home,
take especial heed to eschew vulgarity if you can;
you will have the greatest care, also, to wear the
shortest bob in all your private, and the longest tail
in all your public, relations, this being one of the
most important of the celebrated checks and bal
ances of our government; our institutions being
expressly formed by the mass, for the particular
benefit of all, you will be excessively careful not to
let the claims of any one citizen, or even any set
of citizens, interfere with that harmony which it is
so necessary, for the purposes of trade, to maintain
with all foreign courts ; which courts being accus
tomed themselves to consider their subjects as cat
tle, to be worked in the traces of the state, are sin-
gulary restive whenever they hear of any individual
being made of so much importance. Should any
Leaplower become troublesome on this score, give
him a bad name at once; and in order to effect that
object wi|h your own single-minded and right-loving
countrymen, swear that he is a disorganizer, and
my fife on it, both public opinions at home will sus
tain you ; for there is nothing on which our public
opinions agree so well as the absolute deference
which they pay to foreign public opinions, and
this the more especially, in all matters that are likely
to affect profits, by deranging commerce. You will,
above all things, make it a point to be in constant


relsrtions with some of the readiest paragraph-wri
ters of the newspapers, in order to see that facts
are properly stated at home. I would advise you
to look out some foreigner who has never seen
Leaplow, for this employment; one that is also
paid to write for the journals of Leapup, or Leap-
down, or some other foreign country; by which
means you will be sure to get an impartial agent,
or one who can state things in your own way, who
s already half paid for his services, and who will
not be likely to make blunders by meddling with
distinctive thought. When a person of this charac
ter is found, let him drop a line now and then in
favor of your own sagacity and patriotism ; and if
he should say a pleasant thing occasionally about
me, it will do no harm, but may help the little wheel
to turn more readily. In order to conceal his ori
gin, let your paragraph-agent use the word our
freely ; the use of this word, as you know, being
the only qualification of citizenship in Leaplow.
Let him begin to spell the word O-U R, and then
proceed to pronounce it, and be careful that he
does not spell it H-O-U-R, which might betray
his origin. Above all things, you will be patriotic
and republican, avoiding the least vindication of
your country and its institutions, and satisfying
yourself with saying that the latter are, at least,
well suited to the former ; if you should say this in
a way to leave the impression on your hearers,
that you think the former fitted for nothing else, it
will be particularly agreeable and thoroughly re
publican, and most eminently modest and praise-
^worthy. You will find the diplomatic agents of al!
other states, sensitive on the point of their peculiar
political usages, and prompt to defend them ; but
this is a weakness you will rigidly abstain from
imitating, for our polity being exclusively based on


reason, you are to show a dignified confidence in
the potency of that fundamental principle, nor in any
way lessen the high character that reason already
enjoys, by giving any one cause to suspect you think
reason is not fully able to take care of itself. With
these leading hints, and your own natural tenden
cies, which I am glad to see are eminently fitted for
the great objects of diplomacy, being ductile, imi
tative, yielding, calculating, and, above all, of a
foreign disposition, I think you will be able to get
on very cleverly. Cultivate, above all things, your
foreign dispositions, for you are now on foreign
duty, and your country reposes on your shoulders
and eminent talents, the whole burthen of its foreign
interests in this part of the world."

Here the Judge closed his address, which was
oral, apparently well satisfied with himself and with
his raw-hand in diplomacy. He then said,

" That he would now go to court to present his
substitute, and to take leave himself; after which he
would return as fast as possible, and detain us no
longer than was necessary to put his cauda in pepper,
to protect it against the moths ; for heaven knew
what prize he might draw in the next turn of the
little wheel !"

We promised to meet him at the port, where a
messenger just then informed us, Captain Poke had
landed, and was anxiously waiting our appearance.
With this understanding we separated ; the Judge
undertaking to redeem all our promises paid in at
the tavern, by giving his own in their stead.

The Brigadier and myself found Noah and the
cook bargaining for some private adventures, with
a Leaphigh broker or two, who, finding that the ship
was about to sail in ballast, were recommending
their wares to the notice of these two worthies.

" It would be a ra'al sin, Sir John," commenced


tie Captain, " to neglect an occasion like this to
turn a penny. The ship could carry ten thousand
immigrunts, and they say there are millions of them
going over to Leaplow; or it might stow half the
goods in Aggregation. I'm resolved, at any rate,
to use my cabin privilege; and I would advise you,
as owner, to look out for suthin' to pay port-
charges with, to say the least"

" The idea is not a bad one, friend Poke ; but, as
we are ignorant of the state of the market on the
other side, it might be well to consult some inhab
itant of the country about the choice of articles.
Here is the Brigadier Downright, whom I have
found to be a monikin of experience and judgment,
and if you please, we will first hear what he has to
say about it"

'I dabble very little in merchandise," returned
the Brigadier; "but, as a general principle, J should
say that no article of Leaphigh manufacture would
command so certain a market in Leaplow as Opi

" Have you any of these opinions for sale 1" I
inquired of the broker.

" Plenty of them, sir, and of all qualities from
the very lowest to the very 'ighest prices those
that may be had for next to nothing, to those that
we think a great deal of ourselves. We always
keeps them ready packed for exportation, and send
wast invoices of them, hannually, to Leaplow in par
ticular. Opinions are harticles that help to sell each
other ; and a ship of the tonnage of yours might
stow enough, provided they were properly assort
ed, to carry all before them for the season."

Expressing a wish to see the packages, we were
immediately led into an adjoining warehouse, where,
sure enough, there were goodly lots of the manufac
tures in question. I passed along the shelves, read-


ing the inscriptions of the different packages. Point,
ing to several bundles that had " Opinions on Free
Trade" written on their labels, I asked the Briga
dier what he thought of that article.

" Why, they would have done better, a year or
two since, when we were settling a new tariff; but
I should think there would be less demand for tb/stn

"You are quite right, sir," added the broker;
" we did send large invoices of them to LeapJow
formerly, and they were all eagerly bought up,
the moment they arrived. A great many were
dyed over again, and sold as of 'ome manufacture.
Most of these harticles are now shipped for Leapup,
with whom we have negotiations that give them a
certain value."

" ' Opinions on Democracy, and on the polity of
governments in general; 1 1 should think these would
be of no use in Leaplow?"

" Why, sir, they goes pretty much hover the whole
world. We sell powers on 'em on our own con
tinent, near by, and a great many do go even to
Leaplow ; though what they does with 'em there, I
never could say, seeing they are all government
monikins in that queer country."

An inquiring look extorted a clearer answer
from the Brigadier :

" To admit the fact, we have a class among us
who buy up these articles with some eagerness. I
can only account for it, by supposing they think
differing in their tastes from the mass, makes them
more enlightened and peculiar."

" I '11 take them all. An article that catches these
propensities is sure of a sale. ' Opinions on Events;'

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