13 JUNE 1840, Page 11



Tor, attempt to shoot the Queen is naturally the engrossing topie of the day. The instinetive sympathy of selfishness, which per- vades all classes of anithaatiq: excites horror against every attempt at inflicting a violent deeth, without even the sorry causes of per- sonal provocation, the temptation of interest, the excitement of fear, or the motive of e11:ecting some puldie object or gratifying some public passion. This horror is increased by the station, the age, and the sm; of the Queen, as well as by her present state and her prospects of future happiness. So titir an opportunity for (meeting it seneation, in a dull time, has not been lost by our con- temporaries; and the daily press has teemed with hicubrations of clumsy loyalty, and collections of the most idle and matterless fact?:, observed by the most feeble and f'elvolons minds, and done into letterpress by penny-a-liners. A narrative of the chief cir- cumstances connected with the outrage will lie found in another place; we will here endeavour to evolve :ionic of its principles.

When we bear of an act without any motive Nvhatcrcr, which if it succeed cannot benefit the actor, and which whether it succeed or fiiil will certainly condemn hint to death or a worse punish- ment, the first conclusion is that the person must be deranged. lire do not mean that madneee \shads "influences speech and action,' so as to attract common observers, but au ill-constituted mind, In els:tan:1y liable to aberrdtioa from trivial itiffitenees, with a cer- tainty of being driven to some insatie act b, a sufficiently ex- citing cause. Sometime.: these actions take a form which is called mime, sometime.; one which is adulitttel to be madness; the con- clusion being drawn rather faint the nature of the actions than feont any examination of the actor. 'Ile inquirer into the plueno- inena of the tided need not be told, that these mental disorders ofacii resemble epidemics. There :ire periods when many persons commit. self-nmetler, it unfrequently accompanying their own suicide with the death of others ; iu certain seasons crimes of blood are frequent ; in armies, numbers are suddenly iafected with a determination to maim thentselvee or lidgn diseases ; at tittles we see a disposition in men to engage in conspiracies, not to accomplish any direct public purpoee, but to remove some person by assassina- tion—as has lately been inetanced in France. The cases of " hni- Union" on record nfc nuniorous—persons led to crime, as they allege, in consequence of bearing or reading an account of some criminal ; children Inn:sine; or drowning themselves, &c. from a similar origin. 1Nhole 1!!!ne:e1 of mankind are 'neat:die:31y affected by aberrations similar iu kind though not in degree : sometimes

Illere is it mania " .!. :sod Jerry," sometimes fir "Jim Crow," so:net:nu s " se:m.601es for animal magaetistu : but

as the patients in these cases reasonable in other things, and do not gratify their desire at any great risk or loss, their mania is called by the softer yihrose of the " rage" or the " flishion." That sufficient cause:: exist for all these deviations from strict reason, there ie no doubt ; but they are too subtile for dieeovery—not to meant !!i that ai cannot understand the fillet 1i:circumstances which influence folly or derao.5ement. Two great generic causes of this delirium, laiseever, seaill to be, 1norbitl excitability, and a sickly eritving distinetimi---as the French clerk made away with him !elf heeeeee lie folusl, upon calculation, that he could not

le!pc to become as celeliratcsl 11.s NA lati.nox. It is unfortunate that the public appetite fir smile new thing, and the thcilities of the press, have lified the youth 0-..i.c»to into saell bad eminence. There are latindr;:sis of crackbrained people., at least in France, who would 10110%... examille to emeite as much attention as he, or even as C01•11V(11:11ER.

The particulars, at the time we write, are scanty enough, and pro- bably not hall' or Clem true; but, assuming thoir correctness, they all indicate it mental twist, which may he hereditary. Oxroao's

litther, it : !IA on some occasions like a 31111(1111:M bit mother proli•ss,.. in have suffered " bervous delusions;" and the 1;1(1 himself LI,: keen guilty of freaks beyond Ieere boyish love of mischief. I f is let )tester, the landlord of "the Hog in the Pound," was obliges to di-cherge hill), as lie had "an unfbrtu-

inife propensit!,. lat;!::1611,., \t Lich to many or the customers was unpleasant ": and the ha:ay:m.1:y of resimining the emo-

tions, whether bodily or mental, is one acknowledged sign of in- sanity. The insetisildlity or unbecialling levity of the prisoner since

his apprehenelon, another es idenee, scrrecly perhaps of insanity, but certainly of a leelly-eenetinit ed mind ; and the contents of his lodgings, whether there la. a wild conspiracy or net, smack of a simi- lar. savour. Authorities differ, baked, about the "crape.'' Accord- ing to the leader of the Times en Thursday, the "crape is arranged for the purpose of being worn en a hat or e!», in such a way as to

conceal the face of the wearer; mid the crape i.; also stated to be Ildded in a peculiar manner, so t!.t the c.111,r s,h:el, was intended

for the prisoner, would (11e/a, him pun! ikc i.:1 rf the gang": whence we intl.r, that the Io iltic of the Times have seen the "crapes " of the :miaow- conepirators, fuel we look for a modern. Bellum Catilinarium in due tin k', with a history of the training and seductive arts of the chit:emit tipster of " the Hog in the Pound." The Chronicle has not such extensive knowledge, but its descrip- tions arc more precise : the crape doe!: not appear to be ft mere mask, but a "111«./4 crape cap, having attached to it threw satin bows of a blood-reel eolentr:' The strongest point in favour of the youth's.

sanity, is the soundness ofhis sleep. We arc not, however, arguing that he is actually mad, but of a constitution likely to terminate in madness, and never what is familiarly. called "right."

Mr. M;CAxs, a surgeon of Porliament Street, is said by the Citron/de to have " expressed his unqualified belief of Oxvonn's perfect sanity." This seems a decided judgment enough : when we learn the facts in Mr. APCANs's possession, and the rea- sons on which he grounds ^is conclusion, we shall be better able to form an opinion both of him and his decision. There seems, too, in other quarters, a disposition to join') to the sanity of the criminal ; which, unless the point be nerfeetly cleat, shows any thing but a prudent judgment. Though 'Giante 1: the Third eels assailed by per- sons afflicted with political mania, er with sonic tlincied grievances, it was his policy, or that of his advisers, to allow no punishment to be inflicted for a psesesg/ attack, and to heve it inferred that no sane British subject yeah/ be capable er aiming at the life of fns King. Should the Berson orOx vow o be establishel, this useful pres- tige is destroyed. There is a::u;flu r 11101 Ve 10 he COnSIdere:1, not for violating truth and declare:; hha seed it' he is really retional, but for not rashly assuming sunny. If he be found guilty, death must be inflicted. The atrocity and cold-blooded elteracter of the attempt, with the utter absence of conceivable motive, mark hint as a person unfit for linimul society : the public interests medi- ately involved in the Sovereign, will require the sacrifice of his life to public ,justice, and the mass of the respectable part of the community, who do not reason in this xV;, will argue that sparing the Newport traitors has only " cm:our:Ted' others. The youth will be hanged and beheaded with the general assent. But when the Wet flush of loyalty and anger have passed away, people will begin to estimate the Nvorking of insti- tutions. They will compare the punishment fbr en attempt against the Crown with that of an attempt against the State. The Newport outbreak not only involved all attempt upon life, but the loss of ninny lives; it was the avowed plea of the coneocters to act immediately against the public by stopping the mails and seizing correspondence; their success would have been followed by um- versa confusion, and the ruin of thousands whose fortunes depend upon credit, and most probably by riot, plunder, and open imm- charism. Yet the lives of these men, thus criminal in net and in- tent against the people, are spared ; whilst, it will be said, an indi- vidualis immediately sacrificed for a fUtile attempt upon the wearer of the crown.

We have spoken of the matter as it reasonably appears from the evidence betbre us. It' it should turn out that there is really a conspiracy, after the fashion of " La Jeune France," whose members have used the weak and ill-conditioned Oxronn as an instrument, its ramifications will doubtless be thoroughly traced, and its members visited with a stern and unrelenting justice : and we require this not for the Queen us Queen, for we should demand it for any one else,— though a person whose position renders her obnoxious to peculiar ex- posure has a right to every protection which the law can bestow. If; however, the conspiracy should only exist in the brains of policemen and news-makers, we should certainly like to have sonic sort of evidence that the pistols were loaded with more than powder and paper. It is said by one penny-a-liner that the Queen and Prince ALBERT heard the whizzing of the ball : if SO, no doubt sufficient proof will be thrthemaing: but the mere statements of the gentleman who caters the press is not conclusive evidence, though he garnishes his retort with the dialogue of tbe Royal pair. Some connoisseurs in pi tol..:,1tonting decide from the report that the weapons were bullet-1 esled ; but the production of the balls would be much more conclusive : and over the wall they could not have gone, it' thia. from the Tidssa, is accurate- " On the wall of the tioyo1 ranIcos, oenrly opposite where the young man Edward Oxford was secured, there arc in the bricks two marks or indentations which are supposed to have Leen cawed by the bullets from the pistols. Tice firet mark is on the 24th Inick from th.,. 'bottoin /td Ihr 1001 ihum the top; while the second, which is about thirty yards distant in the direction of Ilyde Park Corner, is rather lower, being 011 the 18th from the bottom owl the 15th

from Mu top."

With our present knowledge of the filets, it is impossible to come

to any conclusion as to the prisoner's purpose; but if there be no conspiracy, the evidence all tends to show that it was the act of a madman. The memorable crape, the alleged lists of fictitious names, the mysterious letter limml at No. 6, West Street, West Square, and the answers of the pri:,,,ncr at the Station, all look like a mad and mischievous attempt at hoaxing, far too audacious for sanity to attempt ; and it' the pistols were not heeled with deadly lead, the whole affair would have a coherence which now it wants, unless upon the presumption, which the reported facts do not at all warrant, of the obvious lunacy of Oxman.