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talent in maintaining them. Mr. whom she had seen at the house Molleson was then heard in behalf of her sister. But she had never of the State, after which Judge El. been introduced to that gentleman, mer delivered his charge, and the and therefore was guilty of gross jury retired.
In about thirty min. misconduct in_noticing Heberton utes the jury returned, and ren. as Mr. Bastido. Then she dered a verdict not guilty. This suffered him to walk with her for verdict was received with loud ap- several squares, and to learn the plause, and Mercer left the court- place of her residence. Her interhouse amid the huzzas of the multi- view with him on the following tude. On the following morning evening, according to her own achis counsel returned to Philadelphia, count, was accidental ; but this we where they were met on the wharf can scarcely credit. Be that as it by an immense concourse of citi. may, however, she often met him zens who escorted them with ac- subsequently by appointment, and clamations to the United States Ho. went with him wherever he propotel. The verdict seemed to give sed to take her. After the alledged general satisfaction throughout the outrage, instead of making her pacity ; Mercer was every where re- rents or her brother acquainted with garded as a hero; and we even the wrong which she had received, heard, on a recent visit to Philadel. she studiously concealed it from phia, that the ladies intended to pre. them, and made arrangements to sent him with a gold medal as the elope with Heberton ; and even defender of female virtue.
when her friends had become acSurveying from a distance these quainted with the fact of her intidemonstrations of popular feeling, macy with him, instead of accusing we confess that they fill us with Heberton of violence, and calling alarm. From a careful study of the for redress, she put herself under case, it seems to us that Mercer was . his protection, and fled from her acquitted solely in obedience to pop. father's house. Unprincipled as ular clamor, and on the ground Heberton was, we fear that in this that the provocation justified the instance the temptation and the guilt offense; we see the community did not rest wholly with him. And among whom the tragedy occurred, if Mercer had carried out his first hailing his acquittal with applause ; intention, and killed his sister inwe see some of the first men of stead of his actual victim, he might the land in point of character and have been acquitted with equal protalent, giving their sanction to this priety. expression of popular feeling; and In the second place, if the outseeing these things we tremble. Let rage was such as it is represented us examine this plea of provocation a to have been, there was a mode of little more closely. In the first place redress by law. The homicide has we do not believe that the provoca- been vindicated on the ground, that tion given by Heberton was as great it was impossible to punish Heberas it has commonly been repre- ton in any other manner. But if sented. The evidence th he com
Sarah Mercer's statement is true, mitted an outrage on the person of Heberton was guilty of rape, an Miss Mercer, rests solely upon her offense which is severely punishable own testimony. But that very tes. by the laws of Pennsylvania; and timony shows us that she herself if Mercer was “sufficiently cool" acted with great impropriety. She to have Heberton arrested on the first accosted Heberton in the street, charge of abducting his sister, (which under the impression (as she says) he did,) he had “sufficient cooling that he was a Spanish gentleman time” to have had him arrested
and bound over to trial on a charge of appeased, until the ravisher and the rape. But Mercer sought revenge. city that gave him shelter, had been
In the third place, if the provoca- destroyed. When Absalom caused tion was as great as it has been Amnon to be put to death for his represented, and if there was no rape upon Tamar, David acquitted other means of redress, or even if him. It is the natural sentiment of Mercer felt the provocation to be mankind, that death is not 100 severe much greater than it really was, can a punishment for such deeds of lust. we give up to the individual the right But while there is no doubt that of avenging his own wrongs, and Heberton merited his punishment, allow him to take the life of an. we affirm that Mercer had no right other in a place of public concourse, to inflict that punishment upon him. and in the open day? The court Shall an individual redress his own of Gloucester County has decided wrongs in a civilized community, that we can; it has sanctioned an under the very eye of law, and then act of private revenge ; and multi- receive the sanction of the law for tudes have applauded its decision. his own breach of the public peace? This decision will henceforth be Shall one crime be punished by appealed to as the standard of right another? Let it be remembered, and wrong; but let it be remem- that the killing of Heberton was bered, that there is a higher stan. not an act of self-defense ; nor was dard by which the conduct of men it an act performed suddenly, upon must be determined, and a higher provocation, (as it would have been tribunal at which men must be had Mercer entered the room while judged. We own that the provo- Heberton was ravishing his sister, cation which led Mercer to take the and killed him in the very act.) It life of Heberton, was great. It was was not till several days after the a species of provocation, (whether outrage, that Mercer was informed viewed as seduction or rape,) than of it, nor was it till the close of the which there can be none greater. second day, after it was told him, The moral sense of mankind must that he took the life of the seducer. acquiesce in the fate of Heberton He could prevent no injury, avert as just. When the infamous Ap- no dishonor by such an act of viopius Claudius attempted to dishonor lence—he sought only revenge. If the daughter of Virginius, and her the provocation is a sufficient vindinoble father, reduced to the extremo cation of his conduct, we know not ity of witnessing her dishonor or of upon what ground we should concovering himself with her blood, vict one murderer in ten; for the preferred the latter, and plunged a same plea can be urged in vindicaknife into her heart—the common tion of numerous acts of homicide. heart of Rome responded to the call Judge Elmer, indeed, affirmed in of the outraged father, and Appius his charge to the jury, that “if a was driven from power and crushed brother of Heberton had pursued to the earth. So when the chaste Mercer, after the latter shot Heber. Lucretia fell a victim to the lust of ton, and had killed him, it would Tarquin and destroyed herself from have been murder, for the law will shame, the common heart of Rome not permit mere passion or revenge, rose up to vindicate the outraged to form a justification in this case. husband, and expelled the house of But why would not the plea of provTarquin from the city. It was the ocation be as valid in the one case rape of Paris upon Helen, which as in the other ? Does the differunited the scattered isles of Greece ence between the two cases lie in in a war of ten years against Troy; the degree of the provocation ? But nor was the common heart of Greece who is to judge of this ? One man Vol. I.
may be as highly incensed at the in session at the time of Heberton's public butchery of a brother, as exposure and death, passed an act, another would be at the public dis- punishing by fine and imprisonment, honor of a sister. If a brother of the seduction, with illicit intercourse, Heberton, absent at sea and igno- of any female of good repute within rant of what has transpired, should the age of twenty one years, under return to-day, and becoming exas- promise of marriage-which promperated at the intelligence of his ise must be proved by other testibrother's death, should dog Mercer mony than her own. This act for thirty six hours and kill him to- would hardly have covered the case morrow, would not the same jury of Heberton; yet it is plain, that which acquitted Mercer, be bound if there had been a law against for. to acquit him also ? Where could nication, under which he could have we draw the line between the two been arrested as a criminal, (as he cases? Has not this verdict annihila- might have been if he was really ted the distinction between right and guilty of rape,) he would have been wrong, given loose reins to human duly punished for his offense, and passions, and rendered law a nullity? Mercer would have been saved from
The citizens of Philadelphia, by the commission of crime. We trust applauding the conduct of Mercer, that every state will soon possess have proclaimed to the world that enough of the contemned spirit of false sentiments of honor and jus. the Puritans, to guard the public tice are still prevalent north of Ma. morals with a jealous eye. son and Dixon's line. So far, how- But it is not upon legal enactever, as their approbation of Mer. ments that we place our chief recer's conduct is to be construed as liance for the suppression of licena testimony against Heberton's, we tiousness. We must elevate the heartily rejoice in it. We are glad tone of moral feeling, especially to see the public mind aroused even among the youth of our country, by to indignation against the sin for inculcating lessons of purity in opwhich he suffered so severely. We position to the libertine principles are painfully convinced, that scenes which abound in the novels of the of vice and pollution similar to those day. Parents and the guardians of disclosed by this tragedy, are of fre. youth must be watchful against the quent occurrence in such a city as the influences of the theater and the Philadelphia. It is time that the ball-room. The seal of reprobation community was awakened to this must be stamped broadly and legi. fact, and that some efficient barrier bly on the least deviation from the was erected against the inroads of path of virtue, either in thought or vice. The New England states are in deed. in advance of many of their sisters There is a strange tendency in soof the Union, in endeavors to sup- ciety to heap opprobrium upon the press and punish fornication, seduc. licentious female, more largely than tion, and similar offenses against upon him whose lust she feeds.* A public morals by law. The legisla. woman who is not strictly virtuous, is ture of New York has been fre. an outcast from society ; whilst not quently petitioned to take some unfrequently the man who is known action in reference to these vices; to be licentious, is permitted to retain but such petitions have hitherto his station in society, and to marry excited little else than indecent ridicule, whilst even in licentious France, exciting a female to sex
* In the trial of Robinson, for the murual intercourse is a crime. The
der of Helen Jewett, the testimony of
libertines was received, while that of harlegislature of Pennsylvania, being lots was rejected !
into a respectable and virtuous fam- standing in society. Possessing these ily. This ought not so to be. Every combined advantages, he might have young man should be made to feel occupied a position of peculiar honor, that, if he forsakes the path of vir influence and usefulness. But he tue, he cannot be permitted to as- chose to sacrifice them all to the sociate with the virtuous ; much indulgence of his lust. His talents less to be united to the innocent and education served only to make and pure, in the most intimate him skillful in the arts of the sedurelation of life. Till parents shut cer; his wealth and beauty served their doors against every one whose only to allure his victims. He went character is stained in the least de- on from step to step in sensual ingree with vice, they must expect to dulgence, till he became alike recksee their daughters ruined and de. less of his own character, and of graded ; till daughters heed paren- the hopes and wishes of a widowed tal counsel, and shun the society of mother, and sought the reputation those who are known to be immoral, of a successful libertine. Already till they learn to value a character he could number his victims by the for purity so highly, as to repel the score, and boast that but one more advances of those who associate was needed to place him at the head with libertines and harlots, they of his associates in guilt. He semust expect to bring disgrace upon cured that one-but the cup of his themselves and misery upon their iniquity was full. God loathed him, friends. The price of admission to and could not suffer the earth to virtuous society should be an un- be polluted any longer by his pres. blemished character, and she dis.
A brother's arm was nerved honors her sex who receives one for vengeance—and he fell, covered who is tainted with vice, as the part with guilt and shame. What an ner of her bosom. Until a higher admonition to the young ! Let tone of moral sentiment exists in them heed the counsel of the wise the community, we must expect the man in the 7th of Proverbs, and repetition of these painful and dis. shun the ways of her whose “ feet gusting scenes.
go down to death,” and whose In conclusion, we cannot fail to steps take hold on hell.” mark in this event the awful provi. dence of God. What a fearful com
“ The sacred lowe o' weel-placed love, ment have we on the declaration of But never tempt th'illicit rove,
Luxuriantly indulge it; inspired writ: “ The way of trans
Though naething should divulge it. gressors is hard.”
Heberton was a young man of respectable parent- I waive the quantum o' the sin,
The hazard o' concealing; age, of good education, of fine per. But och! it hardens a' within, sonal appearance, of wealth and And petrifies the feeling!"
ENGLAND AND CHINA.
advantageous to our mother coun
try, and full of promise to the comThe most important event of the merce of the world, and to the year 1842, is the conclusion of the evangelization of the benighted milwar between Great Britain and Chin lions of China. After the arrival of na, and the ratification by both par. the reinforcements, about the midties of a treaty of peace, highly dle of June, 1842, the British fleet
entered the Yang-lze-Kiang, the and seal, to all Chinese subjects, on most magnificent river of China, account of their having held service on the banks of which the Chinese or intercourse with, or resided unhad erected strong fortifications. der, the British government or its The cannonade on both sides was officers. extremely heavy and unceasing for 7. Correspondence to be conducttwo hours, when a landing was ef- ed on terms of perfect equality fected by the British, and the Chi- among the officers of both govern. nese driven from their batteries. ments. The total amount of ordnance cap- 8. On the emperor's assent being tured is reported to be three hun received to this treaty, and the dred and sixty-three pieces, seventy payment of the first instalment of six of which were brass, most of six millions of dollars, her Britannic them of heavy caliber, and upwards Majesty's forces to retire from Nanof eleven feet long. This splendid kin and the grand canal, and the victory was followed up by a suc- military posts at Chinhai to be also cessful attack on the city of Chin- withdrawn, but the islands of Chusan kiang-foo, and an immediate march and Kolangsoo are to be held until
This brought the the money payments and arrangeemperor to terms. Three high im- ments for opening the ports are perial commissioners appeared with completed. a flag of truce and a treaty of peace. More recently, Dec. 7th, Canton On the 26th of August, Sir Henry became the scene of popular vioPottinger negotiated with them a lence, in which some British proptreaty, subsequently ratified both byerty was destroyed; but the act was the queen and emperor, of which disowned by the Chinese govern. the following are the most import- ment, and indemnity pledged for the ant provisions :
losses of the English. The pros. 1. Lasting peace and friendship pect now is one of prolonged peace. between the two empires.
2. China to pay twenty one mil- BRITISH POWER IN INDIA. lions of dollars in the course of the present and three succeeding years. The past few months have fur.
3. The ports of Canton, Amoy, nished us with some interesting inFoo-chow-foo, Ningpoo, and Shang- telligence from British India. The hai, to be thrown open to British governor general, Lord Ellenbomerchants; consular officers to be rough, in obedience to instructions appointed to reside at them; and from home, ordered the evacuation regular and just tariffs of import and of Affghanistan, after the British export (as well as inland transit) generals had retaken Cabul, recov. duties to be established and pub- ered the English captives, and lished.
destroyed the fortifications of the 4. The island of Hong Kong to place. The governor has been se
. be ceded in perpetuity to her Britan- verely censured in England, for the nic Majesty, her heirs and succes- turgid, oriental style of his procla- .
mations, and still more for attempt5. All subjects of her Britannic ing to conciliate the favor of his Majesty (whether natives of Europe Hindoo subjects, by ordering the or India) who may be confined in gates of the temple of Somnauth to any part of the Chinese empire, to be transported back from the tomb be unconditionally released.
of Mahmoud of Ghusnee, in Aff6. An act of full and entire am. ghanistan, to the place from whence nesty to be published by the empe- they had been taken ; an act which ror, under the imperial sign manual it was thought would be regarded