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section of the existing law against forgery; and the penitentiary not less than ten nor more than
[87 words. ]
In a preceding paragraph we adverted to a section (From 1. Revised Code, 578, 91.]
containing 196 words, which aims to punish the forgBe il enacted by the General Assembly, That, if ing of certain seals, but (like A. the archer) misses any free person shall falsely make, forge, counter- its aim, and punishes only the forging of any infeit, or alter, or cause or procure to be made, forged, strument for counterfeiting those seals. We will counterfeited or altered, or willingly act or assist in falsely making, forging, counterfeiting, or alter
now copy that section : and the reader is desired to ing ang coin, current within this commonwealth, see if we misrepresent its import? And should he whether made current by law or by usage ; or any differ from our opinion, still, is it not plausible enough note or bill of the bank of Virginia, or the Farm- to raise a contest in a court; perhaps lo delay a ers' Bank of Virginia, or any other bank which trial for a year; and by delay, to produce a criminow is, or hereafier may be chartered in Virginia : nal's acquittal ? or any note or bill of the Bank of the United States; or any other hank which now is or hereafter may (From 1. Revised Code, 579, 92.] be chartered by the government of the United States, or by the government of any state, terri- If any free person shall falsely make, forge or tory, or district thereof; or shall falsely make or counterfeit, or procure to be falsely made, forged, cause of procure to be made, or willingly act or as or counterfeited, or willingly act or assist in falsely sist in falsely making any base coin ; or any note making, forging, or counterfeiting, or keep or conpurporting to be the note of a banking company, ceal, or aid in keeping or concealing any instruwhen there is no such banking company in exis- ment, for the purpose of falsely making, forging, tence ; with intention to defraud or injure any per- or counterfeiting, the seal of the President, Direcson of persons, body politic or corporate; or shall, fors and company of the Bank of Virginia, or with the like intent, pass or tender, or offer to pass Farmers' Bank of Virginia, or of any other charer exchange, or cause or procure to be offered, to tered Banking company, which now is or herebe passed or exchanged, any such false, forged, after may be in Virginia ; or the official seal of eorolerfeited, base or altered coin, bill, or note, the Register of the Land Office; or the seal of knowing the same to be false, forged, counterfeited, any other public office, or body politic, or corbase or altered ; every such person shall be deemed porate, in this commonwealth; such person shall guilty of felony; and, on being thereof lawfully be deemed guilty of felony; and, on being lawconsicted, shall be punished by confinement in the fully guilty of any such offence, in relation to the public jail and penitentiary, for not less than ten seal of any banking company aforesaid, shall be por more than twenty years.
punished by confinemeni in the public jail and [270 words.)
penitentiary, for not less than five nor more than
fifteen years; and, on being lawfully convicted of Let us see some of the redundancies of this sec- said, shall be punished by confinement in the pub
any such offence, in relation to any viher seal aforetion, under the proposed reformation of the law. lic jail and penitentiary, for not less than one nor The offence needs not be declared felony, since all more than ten years. offences punishable by the penitentiary, are to be
And now we ask the reader if the aim of this felonies. The words falsely make, counterfeit, section is not more indubitably, and more intelligi&c., may all be expressed by the one word forge, bly accomplished in 94 words, by the following recording to our sixth definition. Causing, procuring, aiding, &c., are made needless by the
Substitute. foarih definition, which includes them in the prin- Any free person who shall forge the seal of any eipal offence. Other superfluities will appear from chartered banking company in Virginia, or the the subjoined draught—which, by the by, is more official seal of any public officer, or body politic or Comprehensive than the above one, since it would corporate, in this commonwealth ; or forge, keep, embrace a Canadian, or English bank note, as well
or conceal any instrument for the purpose of forg
ing any such seal; shall, for so doing as to the as unchartered bank notes, while the above section seal of such banking company, be confined in the would not : though either might be current in Vir- penitentiary not less than five nor more than fifgioia.
teen years, and for so doing as to any other seal And now for the
aforesaid, be so confined not less than three nor
more than ten years. Substitute Section.
We cannot consent to tire the reader with any Any free person who shall forge any coin cur- further copies from the Revised Code. It abounds, rent in Virginia, or a note of any Bank, within or and the later laws abound still more, with sections without the State, whether chartered or not; or as verbose as either of the two that we have quoted. any note purporting to be the note of a Bank or The whole chapter on Hog-stealing * is a curiosity banking company, though such bank or company do not, or never did exist; or shall, with fraudulent in that respect : so is that on Horse-stealing :t so intent, pass or offer to pass any such forged coin or #1 R. C., 572, &c. pole, knowing it to be forged , shall be confined in + Ib. 575, &c,
is an act of 1834, designed to fix the county where engaged in writing a work of twelve pages, which the unlawful remover of a slave may be tried ; so should contain all that was known in metaphysies, is an act passed six or eight years ago, empower- politics, and moral science. Let not us be thought ing an administrator de bonis non to receive assets liable to that sneer; nor to Horace's hit at him who, from a former representative; so, indeed, are en- laboring to be brief, hecomes obscure. No chimera actments enough to tire our own patience (much of conciseness, no obscurity, is attributable to any more the reader's) with the bare mention of them. phraseology that we would adopt in legislation. The last mentioned two (that of 1834, and that of We are only for making laws speak common sense, six or eight years since)—especially the last one in words that fit it-language such as Franklin can hardly be understood at all.
used, and such as the most momentous precepts of The fourth section of the law against forgeries * the Bible are couched in. The departures of our contains 300 words, specifying about thirty-six law-makers from that mode of speech, have often sorts of writing, the forgery of which it makes made us sweat with perplexity about their meanpunishable : and closes the list with the words “or ing; not only at the bar, when adversaries were other writing, to the prejudice of another's right." contesting the interpretation, but in office hours, We believe, as we said before, that this closing when all we wanted was to understand the duties phrase is descriptive of every one of the rty-six | imposed upon us by statutes. In every such in. sorts. And if so, then by using it alone, and keep- stance, and in well nigh every imaginable instance, ing our definitions in view, the whole effect of the to shorten would be to make plain. The obscurity present section and more, may be accomplished by almost always comes from a needless multiplicaone containing only 59 words :
tion of words; from a swing and swell of language, Substitute for $4,1 R. C. 789.]
which many think essential to legislative dignity,
but which is in fact one of the most wretched Any free person who shall forge, alter, or erase quackeries. any writing, to the prejudice of another's right; or, wjih frandulent intent, utter or pass, or offer to
The auspices under which the present revisal pass as genuine or true, any writing so forged, al- comes forth, the eminent names connected with it, tered, or erased, knowing it to be such, shall be and the portentous length of travail that has atconfined in the penitenciary nut less than one nor tended its birth *-not to mention the commonmore than ten years.
sense tendencies of this age-warrant the public We venture to say, that taking into considera- in expecting at least brevily enough to insure lution the superior comprehensiveness of this sub- cidness. Even to learn the cost of printing is stitute, the greater simplicity which the indictment something; it is much more, to present magistrales, would admit of, and the greater ease of proof,—a and people, as well as lawyers, with a body of forger would find it twice as hard to shuffle off the reading which may not, by its bulk, frighten or concoil of justice, as under the three-hundred-word fuse them. Any man will read a section of three section.
or four lines much more willingly than a section One more sample of the period-pruning which
of twenty; and perceive its meaning much more the venerable Virginia Code requires, and we shall
easily. close. We refer to the first section of the chapter
The chapter of definitions is an indispensable on horse-stealing. † This section contains 157 preliminary to any great condensation. That is words. In it the graceful catalogue, “ horse, mare
the grand clarifier and abbreviator. Nest, it is or gelding, foal or filly,” occurs ihree times. It is important to find “masterly" generalities of eshoped no reader will deny himself the amusement
pression, to be used whenever the law-composer of turning thither, and examining its other beau
feels tempted into detailed specification. Finally, ties. He may then judge of the following
let him watch constantly for the briefest, but al
ways for satisfactory, sets of words ; never using Substitute.
iwo, where one will express his meaning. If he Any person stealing a horse, or being accessary
will practise on these three maxims, and is clearthereio before the fact, shall, if free, restore the headed, sagacious, of good judgment, and acqnainhorse to the owner or pay him the value thereof, ed with the world, -- he cannot fail to earn his and be confined in the penitentiary not less than country's lasting gratitude. five, nor more than ten years; or, if a slave, shall suffer death.
Nole. Since the foregoing article was placed [49 words. ]
in the printer's hands, a friend in the Legislatore In the sportive preface to one of Montesquieu's has furnished us a printed copy of the Bill now belittle novels (for he wrote iwo or three) he utters a fore that body, for amending the Criminal Law. gibe against the affectation of excessive brevity, Its brevity, and consequent clearness, in soine seeby gravely saying, that he had been thirty years
* 12 or 14 years. But Messrs. Patton and Robinson *1 R. C, 579, 580.
have had the work in hand scarcely two years. We hope + Id. 575.
they will take one more, at least.
tions, exceed even our own previous conceptions ; 'Mid the adoring Seraphim with the redeem'd and blestthough in others, we humbly submit, the old meth- In the sweet Sabbath valleys of Heav'n thou tak'st thy
rest! od of particularization prevails too much—for instance, in Chap. IV., 917, about stealing bank Farewell
, prophetic child of song-Woman, and Poet true. potes, &c. Say, in a short section, that all wri- Regretful tears fall fast for thee, albeit I never knew tings for the payment of money, choses in action, Aught save thy name, with which thy song and fancied and other papers or writings of value, shall be image blend, deemed goods and chattels : then larceny would And my heart grieves, lamented one, as for a valued friend. attach to them of course.
Lady, I lov'd thee passing well, but while I mourn thy doom
I call thee blest, and would that I could share thy quiet In the section about forging seals, (chap. V., 92.)
tomb! the draughts-man has fallen into the same mistake with the 1 R. C. 579, 92; in making the stress of
January, 1818. punishment fall upon the forging of an INSTRUMENT for the purpose of forging court seals, when he designs to punish chiefly the forging of the seals themselves. Why not alter the arrangement, so as to say
JOHN CARPER, Any free person who shall forge the seal of any court, or the official seal of any public officer,
THE HUNTER OF LOST RIVER. or body politic, or corporate in this commonwealth ; or make, or keep, or conceal any instrument for
CHAPTER III. the purpose of forging such seal; shall be confined, " &c.
The character of my hero has been gathered About this there could be no question-no cavil. perhaps, by the reader, from his own lips in the
preceding chapters. He was a brave, true-hearted, intelligent man, with much earnestness and simplicity of nature. In physical qualities he was a noble specimen of the best class of frontiersmen. He stood six feet two inches in his moccasins, was
" as strong as a bear, and as long-winded as a JANE TAYLOE WORTHINGTON.
wolf”_or, if not quite all this, yet near enough
lo it to give a color of justification to the rhodoBY ELIZABETH J. EAMES.
montade of the hunters, his companions, who were
in the habit of saying so much of him. It is very Thy form has never met mine eye
certain that a better man for the work before himAmid the passing crowd,
a more gallant, patient, trust-worthy hunter-never Yet few can feel as I do now
set heart and foot upon an Indian trail. To know thee in thy shroud!
The mouth of the mountain hollow, which the Mrs. Embury.
dog, Sharpnose, had shown so strong a disposition And so the genius-gifted pass, they are going one by one,
to enter, on the approach to Blake's house, was The golden bowl is shattered and the silver thread is spun. near at hand, and Carper made directly for it. The melancholy requiem of Genius hath been said The country through which his travel was immeO'er one laid down in summer-time, to slumber with the diately to lead hiin, is broken up into a puzzle of
ridges, knobs, spurs and gaps.
Lost River mounIn the early prime of womanhood, she changed the Laurel
tain, Timber Ridge, and Sandy Ridge, now run wreath, Now bearing on her marble brow-the Cypress crown of together, now separate, now lower their crests in Death!
quite a bland and pacific manner, now rear and re
coil in oppugnation, until to an ordinary eye all Of all the Muse's children, thou wert the fairest one, seems an incomprehensible confusion of sandstone, Thon of the deeply loving mood, the spiritual tone, pine and laurel. But this country rugged, wild, Thou of the tender, truthful soul, the earnest woman's mind, and intractable as it is, has its passes, and even its Where seraph purity sat thron'd-ideal love enshrin'd. Thoa on whose heart the shadow of an early death did strips of smooth meadow watered by the flow of fall
clear mountain springs, and John Carper knew Too truly did thy verse foretell the darkness, and the pall: every foot of it. Of these passes, the outlet of a
chief one, into which many of the others converAh, me! thy lip and ear are seal'd, thine eye is clos'd and ged, was near the Quaker's house. Into this, and
dim,Thy barp is hush'd and never more to soft religious hymn- hesitate for a moment, but with his rifle on his
rapidly up it, Carper took his way. He did not To olden tale, and melody of human hope, and love, Shalt thou attune the strings which play a nobler part shoulder, and his dog trotting before him with nose above.
lowered, moved on at a speed which would have
outstripped the ordinary gait of Joshua Blake's ried to the brook, reached it, turned to the left, and dun gelding. If he cast his eyes to the stony path traced it upward. He presently came to a deer under his feet, it was rather to assure his footing path deeply worn into the banks, and here, to his than to look for signs, which he well knew no eye great satisfaction, found numerous foot-marks. Na could detect on such a way. It was evident that care had been taken to conceal them. There were here, in these first stages of his undertaking, he many moccasin prints, and in one place the loerelied solely on his dog. This was especially ap- marks of a naked foot-doubtless that of the boy parent his approach to a spot where the ravine Tobe. Amongst the rest were shoe-prints. Care forked. From this point a pass led away south of per recognized, in the small straight track, with the west, and was walled in by mountains until it open- deep indentation made by the high narrow heel, the ed, after a tortuous course, into the smoother foot-mark of his dear Quakeress, and for a moment country which edges the valley of the South Branch there was a blinding moisture in his eyes, and an of the Potomac. If the Indians had taken this left uncertain motion of the hand that traced the dainty hand pass, they would probably cross the South outline. It was not the slight pressure of a kid Branch above Morefield. The other pass, start- slipper that gave token of Nelly Blake's recent ing from the point of divergence, was most direct presence, but a sharp-cut print with quite a filiof the two, and led into the valley beyond in a gree of small indentations near the edges, and course very little north of west. But there was a around the curve of the heel, made by the tacks distance of many miles between the western out-of an honest mountain shoe. It was well shaped, lets of the passes, occasioned by the southward in- however, both slim and small, and did not belie the clination of the one on the left, and the after course country-side opinion which gave the poor girl credit of the Indians depended greatly upon the selection for possessing the prettiest foot in the Lost River of courses made at the fork. Carper held back settlements. There was liule in the marks to and left his dog to make a choice for him. Sharp- show how long they had been made, but Carper, nose, after going a little way up each hollow, wag- on close inspection found in one of them farthest ged his tail, looked to his master, and resumed his from the water some beads of white frost.
• On, trot up the northern one. The hunter turned to Sharpnose,” he said, clearing the brook at a bound, the right, and resumed his long swinging walk as " the tracks were made before day-break. We are if entirely satisfied with the dog's decision. His seven long hours behind.” On the low spouty path soon became exceedingly rough; the sagacity ground beyond the brook, Sharpnose justified bis of the deer, who had principally made it, led them name, and carried the trail with the certainty, bat across knolls to avoid curves of the ravine, and none of the clamor, of a fox-hound. A liule farthese knolls were heaps of sharp sand-stones, with ther on began the alluvial bottom lands, and here scarcely soil enough to nourish a dog-wood or lau- abundant signs were to be readily caught by the rel. Here and there on these knolls, a pine thrown untiring hunier. The passage of the Indians had headlong by the winds, from the higher mountain left a visible enough wake in the high weeds which side, lay in the way with its bush and turned the this soil, as fertile as any in the world, throws op sharp stony path down some steep and critical sur- like a thicket of canes. After breaking through face. In the bottom of the hollow itself, Carper's this rank growth, Carper came upon the bank of road was often a mere succession of stepping- the South Branch. Here he assured himself that stones with pits, worn by flowing water, between all, at least, of the Indian party had not directly them. Altogether this most direct course to the forded the river. Some tracks, the boy Tobe's valley of the South Branch was wholly impassa- amongst them, led directly to the water's edge, but ble to horsemen. To the true hunter, who now there were others which turned to the right, and trod it, the way was as easy as a shorn meadow kept the bank. Sharpnose, after following the in summer, and he held upon it with uniform speed. first tracks until they were lost in the water, came It was, however, several hours before he emerged back and took the bank trail. Nelly's shoes had from the mountains, and found himself upon a range left no mark to show which course she had been of broad hilly barrens, covered with crab grass, made to take. “ They have listed her into their and looking very much like deserted fields. Sharp- arms,” thought Carper, “ and as she is rather too nose had followed the trail of the Indians through plump to be carried where there is no occasion for the confined passes, into which the sun at that it, they have, no doubt, taken her up to carry her early hour only half penetrated, but lost it on these across the Branch. It is a civility of Girty'sbreezy hills. Carper surveyed the country before very obliging in him!" Calling his dog from the him with a quick eye. Three or four hundred trail along the bank, he at once entered the river. yards below, a little brook drew its line of running the stream he found languid and shallow, and with briars and thorn-bushes, in a zig-zag, abou: the some difficulty in dragging through the mad on the foot of the up.grounds. “ The trail will show other side, he shortly gained firm footing on the there," he said to himself. “ Nose up, dog--no opposite bank. Here it seemed that a first attempt time to be lost”—and bearing to the right, he hur-'had been made by the Indians to hide their trail. No foot-marks were visible in the muddy bank seized and dragged through the hand of a person which the huoler had gained, but in looking up and sustaining himself by them in falling. Satisfied down stream, he saw about two hundred yards with these signs, which tended in the direction of above him, a flat rock which shelved into the water. the high pine-marked gap, he descended to the The shore everywhere else within view was of river baok, where the ground permilied swister soft and yielding soil, without torf, and indeed with travelling, and hurried on up stream. In a short oat regelation of any kind except a few clumps of time he drew near the pines. On the nearer edge papaws. His woodcraft led him at once to this of them a wild gobler with splendid plumage was rock, and he presently delected some blotches, such strutting in a circle about a clump of dogwoods, in as might be made by feet covered with wet buck- amongst which iwo or three of his meek and shabskia, upon its surface. The sun, by this time near- bier looking wives were patiently scratching for ing noon, had dried these away to a faint dull stain, their food. Sharpnose bounced in among the wild but to Carper's quick eye, they were distinct enough. family and drove them clucking into the pines. He From this rock the onward path was matter of more made several joyous efforts to storm their perches, uncertainty than altogether suited his hasty humor. and might onder other circumstances have chang. Sharpnose could make nothing of so old a trail in ed his obstreperous attempts into a blockade ; but 80 sunny an exposure, and the hunter was thrown his master presently brought him to his graver duentirely opon his own resources. The Indians had ties, and after a little perplexed nosing and snuffing not followed the bank either up stream or down. of the mingled scents, all lying well in so shady a There were no signs in the papaw leaves and mud spot, he found the human trail. The hunter's first deposite, which would have retained foot-marks as anxiety now was to ascertain if Nelly Blake was distinctly as soft polter's clay. Directly from the with this division of the Indian party. Getting upon rock, which quite cut in two this low muddy shelf his hands and knees, and prying amongst the tassels of shore, a mountain rose very abruptly, with a with which the dark boughs above him had covered face of grey sandstone, dotted with starved shrubs. the ground-prunings of their mountain wingsCarper's eye scanned this rough ridge, and he saw, he searched long and earnestly. Near a log wbich and recognized on its top half a mile off, south. the trail had crossed, and a little to one side of the ward, a spot where, sunk between two rocky knobs confused marks of the party, the eyes of the hunter, looking like capolas, a patch of tall pines rested brought to within a few jaches of the ground dislike the shadow of a cloud. Large pines spring- linguished a slightly curved line in the mat of pine ing in this way on the spine of a mountain, gener- leaves. It was indistinct, but it was so because ally denote a depression, for it is by the accumula- the pressure had not been great enough to stamp tion of soil from higher surrounding points that deeply, and destroy the elasticity of the leaves, not such islands of great timber are nourished and because the outline of the substance making it had grown. Between these koobs, at 'this patch of been blunt or yielding. Some of the pine tassels, piaes, was in fact so considera ble a depression as in the line, had been cut in two; so Carper assured to have gained the name of gap--without being at himself by ascertaining that they were too damp all
, however, the easy pass which a heavy-footed to break. “It was Nelly's shoe," he said to him. lowlander would imagine from the name. Unless self as he rose ; " she sprung from that foot in the ladians had chosen to climb the rugged steep crossing the log, and had the heel up when the sole of a mountain several hundred feet high-dragging cut the line. Thank God her little instep had a spring their female captive with them they must have left in it.” He examined the opposite side of the passed the ridge at this gap. There was, to be log, but here he found that the wild turkeys had sare, a lower pass four or five miles down the river, been before him, and had scratched away all signs. but it was too distant to enter into the calculation Satisfied, however, with what he had seen, he reof
persons striking the mountain at the shelving sumed his journey. Following the course which rock. Carper mounted the hill-side some thirty the shape of the mountain compelled, or at least feet and soon put on a look of satisfaction. The made most easy, and which his dog went readily grey sand-stones on the warmer slopes of our moun- upon before him, he descended into an irregular lains, if not covered with the long beard-like moss valley. The trail, which with the aid of Sharpof the cold northern exposures, have yet a vegeta- nose, he had been able to keep easily, led through ble covering of their own, a sort of coating of flat this valley, and beyond it over a broken country, circular scales looking like the impressions of min- and at sunset he found himself between the headiature river shells. The hunter found several of waters of Looney's and Patterson's creeks, and these stones lying with the side marked in this man- near the base of the main or central chain of the Der dowoward, and some faint remains of moisture, Alleghaneys. With the setting of the sun, the or rather of the dark color which moisture gives to moon began to shine out low down in the western stone on the opturned sorfaces. A little farther quarter of the heavens. Carper extended his jouron, also, he found the switches of a shrub com- ney several hours into the night, making poor speed pressed together, and bent, as if they had been 'however ; and when the moon disappeared belrind