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A Scottish case of
in Pott Street-both residences being situated within the same postal district. Samuel usually spent five evenings in the week at the house of his prospective father-in-law; and on Sundays the happy pair occupied the same pew in the Independent Chapel of the district. Notwithstanding these favourable circumstances, a steady correspondence was kept up between the two ardent lovers; but, alas! Samuel's promises proved to be 'pie-crusts,' and his cold-hearted desertion resulted in a verdict of £75 damages.
Although in that cold and cautious portion of her Majesty's dominions called Scotland, actions for breach of promise are of comparatively rare occurrence, such cases do occasionally find their way into the Court of Session. So recently, for example, as the summer of 1866, our daily newspapers contained a most elaborate report of one of these unfortunate misunderstandings, embracing several very extraordinary letters from the pen of the faithless suitor, who happened to be a widowed draper, with four children, and a singularly impulsive disposition. The object of his tender feelings was a respectable woman of thirty, the daughter
Breach of Promise.
of a denizen of Modern Athens, but residing in Liverpool when the correspondence commenced. In his first epistle, dated 1st December 1865, the ardent widower modestly, if not very truthfully, refers to the paucity of his words :Nature,' he says, 'has been very sparing to me in her gifts, and more particularly in the organ of language she has been uncommonly scrimp.' The object of his communication is then stated in the most business-like manner:-'Well, then,' he proceeds, 'my question is, viz., Have you at the present time an engagement with any man, whereby you have bound yourself for the future to him ? . . . My abrupt note may startle you,
... but believe me when I say that this is no new idea to me, but has been floating in my hazy brain for a pretty long time.' Five days later, after the receipt of a favourable reply, the loving draper thus touchingly expatiates :—'My DEAR ---A thousand thanks, and yet another thousand, for your dear, kind, welcome letter. Upon first reading it, I thought of hieing me off to Liverpool in propria personâ ; but when I had swallowed it twice, its musical and honest ring began to steal sweetly on my ear, like some beautiful lyric, heard for the first time
A Faithless Suitor.
ere yet its melody has died in the distance, you find yourself thumping and knocking for an encore ; so, my sweet bird, you must pipe me another song without the excuses which all good singers like to make. ... After a good many highly romantic allusions, the letter proceeds more seriously as follows: If a heart pure and disinterested, a love which is based upon reason, a life to be devoted and spent for your happiness, be anything to offer, then believe me when I say that I mean to lay all that at your shrine. . . . Send me your carte by return, and enclose with it a dozen of your sweetest kisses ! ... In the course of little more than a brief fortnight, during which the enthusiastic wooer had visited Liverpool, and presented his lady-love with a fifty-pound note to facilitate the marriage preparations, a sudden and most unaccountable change comes over the spirit of his dream ; and in a letter commencing with these chilling words, “Miss Jane 'he coolly informs her that his suit must be considered at an end, and thus magnanimously concludes :- Regarding the fiftypound note which you got from me to be applied to a particular purpose, of course you Ladies, Beware!
are now aware that that is at an end, and the note ought to have been sent back to me without delay. But to show you that I bear no illwill, I will deal generously, and allow you to retain ten pounds for your own use, PROVIDED you send me back, within three days, the other forty pounds; but if not done so, I shall hold this offer at an end from that time.'
The only explanation offered at the trial was that the writer of these inconsistent effusions had come to think that the lady was not the right person for him to marry, and that there was an “incompatibility' betwixt them! Will it be credited when I state that a jury of twelve responsible men-that boasted Palladium of British freedom,' --while they returned a unanimous verdict for the lady, assessed the damages, in the teeth of the Judge's charge, at £50, thereby throwing the expenses of the trial on the party who had been so grossly injuredher heartless suitor having previously tendered, through his agent, the magnificent sum of £52, Ios.! Any comment is superfluous. Ladies, Beware!
About eight years ago, some remarkable specimens of matrimonial letter-writing were brought
Titty to Dubby.
to light, through the medium of the Queen's Bench, in the celebrated case of Mr. and Mrs. Rowley, where, unfortunately, an overbrilliant sunshine was at last displaced by a terrific tornado. It is hard, indeed, to believe (as remarked by a contemporary critic) that the boundless love and affection, indicated by some of the epistles in question, could ever have been extinguished. “Not a line from you to-day,' writes the Hon. Mrs. Rowley to her absent spouse; * Not a line from you to-day, you naughty old Dubby! Poor Titty has been very ill to-day. I wish dearest Zooy were here to take care of her.
I told her you were such a dear, and how Titty loved you. How I detest to be separated from you, my ducky!' Again, in her next letter, she says, 'And did it write a nice little tiny letter to its wifey this morning! Titty was delighted with it, and kissed it over and over and over again. My darling, dear, dear old pet ; thank God! you say there is a chance of your passing your examination. I knew my dearest Zooy's abilities could do anything he took trouble about. . . . Ever believe Titty to remain,' etc.
By way of contrast with the gushing affec