28 JANUARY 1882, Page 11




Sia,—We have not all been to Calcutta of late years, and so many may not recognise the remarkable malignity and the unscrupulous audacity that underlie the fantastic extrava- gance of Lord Lytton's invective, when be speaks on some point where he supposes he may escape exposure. Such a point in his speech at Woodstock is the character he has drawn of Mr. Justice O'Hagan :—" Robbery has been organised in the disguise of law. Justice has been parodied and brought into contempt. I say contempt, for with what respect can the administration of justice be regarded by a people taught to associate the august and majestic idea of a British Judge with the grotesque image of a passionate political partisan, sitting in the simulacrum of a law court, guided by no legal precedent, acting on no legal principle, and yet invested with the most summary judicial powers for the unrestrained prosecution of his class animosities and predatory instincts ?" I can fancy the expression of countenance with which Mr. Gibson, and Mr. David Plunket, and Mr. Ball, in due time even Mr. Whitley Stokes, must read this blatant balderdash, this most absurd and grotesque libel. Mr. Justice O'Hagan is known to them, as he is known to all the Irish Bar, as not only a most learned and experienced lawyer, with a serene temper and a judgment of rare balance, but as a scholar of wide and liberal culture, a man beloved and respected by all who know him, and who, in the certainly abundant opportunities of political advance- ment, has hitherto, of choice, led a life of happy obscurity and study, so far as duty to his clients allowed.

A Peer of the realm is a Judge by right of birth, and a Viceroy of India is a person in whose name land-laws in com- parison with which the Irish Act is a very moderate measure have been, and are being, daily administered. With what con- 'science can we blame peasants for their contempt of the Bench from which the Queen's justice is laid down, and their dis- obedience to the statutes enacted by Parliament, when language like this is uttered by men like Lord Lytton regarding her Majesty's Judges and the laws of the land P—I am, Sir, &c., C. H.