Two libel cases, arising out of one small subject, were
tried yesterday in the Court of Common Pleas. On the 7th June last, a person named Deacon gave Captain Thomas Garth a box in the ear, and a sound horsewhipping, for writing, as Deacon alleged, an impudent letter to Mrs. Deacon. Both parties were at the time inmates of the King's Bench, where Captain Garth still remains. In reporting this case in
the Morning Advertiser, it was inaccurately stated that Garth had ac- knowledged the writing of the letter ; he had, it appeared, denied it. For this inacuracy, the Captain brought an action. Lord Chief Justice Tindal said, there could be no doubt of its being a libel to say a man had written a letter of an improper tendency to a married woman : the words were "an amorous epistle." The Jury found for the plaintiff— damages one farthing. A similar action was tried against the Globe newspaper, and a similar verdict returned.
The great cause Small versus .Attwood goes on, or rather the plead.. lags go on. The counsel for the prosecution have been heard, and Sir Edward Sugden has commenced the defence ; when he will finish it we do not pretend to foresee, much less when the judgment will come.
Richard Cathie, the younger, was charged at Guildhall, yesterday, with selling unatamped almanacs; they were printed on cotton. . The
defendant relied, for his justification, on the recent act for repealing the duties on printed cotton, which, he contended, unintentionally had re- pealed all duties. The Magistrate, however, held that Excise-duties and Stamp-duties were not the same, and convicted accordingly. The long case Rex versus Hodson-_a prosecution for conspiracy-- was tried before Lord Tenterden on Thursday. Dr. Turnbull, the pro- secutor, had been left about 15,000/, by a gentleman named Stephenson ; and the will was regularly proved in the Prerogative Court of York.
On Dr. Turnbull, however, bringing an action of ejectment against one Shepherd, who held .the premises to which the will gave him a title, Hodson, and the other. defendants Nancy Watson and William Young, whom the willin question had grievously disappointed as well as injured, came forward to swear that it was not signed at the time they attested, and Dr. Turnbull was .in consequence nonsuited. The Jury found these three. guilty of conspiracy, and acquitted Mrs. Young, the fourth defendant ;—but accompanied their verdict with an opinion" that Dr. Turnbull's conduct had been highly unprofessional, and discreditable to himself."
AT Bedfont, on the 7th, a Jury was assembled to inquire into the al- leged insanity of a lady named Piste% a native of Sweden, widow of a naval officer belonging to the same country. Three doctors were ex-
amined,--Dr. Warburton, Sir George Tuthill, and a Mr. Gilchrist, of Sunbury. Dr. Warburton said, "he had known the lady since last
April, when he visited her professionally; he found her in a very un- settled state of mind. She imagined persons were in her room under the grate of her fireplace. She herself was sometimes found lying with her head under the grate. She also fancied she was annoyed by innu- merable swarms of spiders, which at times covered her from head to foot. He had seen her a few days since, and is decidedly of opinion that she is of unsound mind, and incapable of managing her affairs." This was decisive enough, but what said Dr. Gilchrist?—" He admitted that, the lady bad been labouring at times, since time month of April, under certain delusions, arising from ill state of health, but that latterly she had been gradually improving., and that since the beginning of No- vember no such delusions had existed; she bad perfectly recovered her soundness of mind, and is at the present moment quite competent to manage her own affairs:" The Jury were posed as well as the lawyers ; and by way of removing or confirming their doubts, Airs. Pistell her- self was called in. Mr. Phillimore, one of the Commissioners, in- formed her of the nature of the business on which they were assembled,. and begged she would not agitate herself. She replied with a firm voice, that, so fur from feeling nervous or agitated, she was glad of the opportunity thus afforded of clearing herself of those aspersions which had been cast upon her : she had been in an ill state of health, but was at present perfectly recovered ; and she expressed a wish that she might be allowed to procure counsel to conduct her defence.
The inquest was adjourned until the 16th; when Dr. Warburton was again examined, and persisted in his former testimony. Sir George Tuthill also gave evidence to the same effect. On the other hand, Mr. Gilchrist adhered to his opinion ; and Mrs. Pistell's composure and ac- curacy under examination were as conspicuous as on the former exa- mination. The Jury unanimously found that the lady was of sound mind, and capable of managing her own afibirs as well as ever she had been.
We have not heard of any bad effects having flowed from this deci- sion ; but we fear we shall : we have our doubts whether any prudent man ought to believe in his own sanity, so long as a mad doctor disputes it. The safest as well as the wisest plan in such a case is to put On the jacket at once.