Local Judges (5): His Honour Judge Albert Rowland Cluer (1852-1942)
|The work of this edition, as far as we can judge from the sample which we have been able to examine, is scarcely up to the mark which may be fairly expected in the publications of a University Press. In vi.5 Livy says that the plebs stayed away from public business because they were occupied with building, and adds that they were eodem exhaustam impensis. Here we have the note, 'eodem, from the same reason'. But surely eodem depends upon impensis. In the next chapter, we have Camillus saying, after acknowledging the precedence given him by the Senate and his colleagues, that he would do his best ut tante de se consensa civitatis opinionem, quae maxima sit, etiam constantem efficiat. Here Mr. Cluer translates, This unanimous expression of feeling on the part of the community, which he valued very highly. This is not only inadequate, but misleading; the learner is not told that tante consensa is an ablative descriptive of opinionem; quae maxima &c of course must mean as it was very great, so also permanent. In the same chapter, again, we have Sive Etruria se interim, ut nuper, sive nova haec cura, Latiui atque Hernici moverint. The editor notes 'moverint, of hostile movement, elliptical for moverint, se, &c'. Why elliptical? If he had looked back to the line before, he would have found it expressed. In 'ut—sic—which .... still', 'which' must be a misprint for 'while', as in the next page 'courage' is a misprint for 'carnage'. Other things we have observed which, though scarcely errors, do not show the exactness and care which with an edition should be put together. Aversis eo, 'being directed to that quarter', when 'diverted' would certainly be better, is an instance of what we mean. A student will get help from Mr. Cluer's notes, help that in many cases will be unexceptionable, but he will hardly be taught to form the habit of scrupulously exact translation.|
|Thus property and Communism are both logical, both intelligible and capable of yielding perfect deductive results, but quite irreconcilable in their integrity. The problem is how to be illogical and human in conduct, to effect that for-ever-fluctuating compromise which is life … And I firmly believe that the world will be best served by each man discovering what his natural ἐργον [work] is, and doing that as well as he can. The world is a symphony in which flutes and horns have places as well as violins. But a certain set of politico-economic prigs would fain have all men be fiddles—and themselves first fiddles.|
My Dear Mr. Holyoake, |
I have only just had time to peruse the papers which you so kindly sent me, and which I return at once lest mishap should befall them in sunnier lands even than Italy. To praise them would be assumption and presumption; but let me say this, that it has given me very keen pleasure to read and enjoy them. You touch nothing that you do not adorn and beautify ...
The joy of the magistrate is to provide copy for a friendly evening paper. The reporter, not knowing the difference between 'knock over' and 'trip over by a kick', sadly misunderstands me. At Clifton I admit we did both, and no one complained if any two football opponents, with no ball between them, settled a private quarrel by kicking each other outside a scrimmage. But then we were boys, and no money was on the game, and none of the brutes who have made football disreputable did then exist. The Westminster is very good to me, and I trust it will always pull me up when I go wrong. Your portrait hangs in our dining-room, and I heartily congratulate you on your noble age. If I ever reach it, may I be as clear-headed and wise of tongue as you are.
|THE BRIGHTON RAILWAY OUTRAGE - SENTENCE OF THE HON. P. G. NUGENT
The charge against the Hon. Patrick Greville Nugent, of 95, Eaton Terrace, Eaton Square, of assaulting Miss Marian S. Price, residing in Eckstein Road, Clapham Junction, in a railway carriage on the Brighton line on the evening of Easter Monday, was heard at the London County Sessions, Clerkenwell, on May 13, when the little court-room was crowded in every part. Mr. A. R. Cluer appeared for the prosecution, while the accused was represented by Sir Charles Russell and Mr. C. F. Gill.
The prisoner, who was accommodated with a seat in the dock, was faultlessly attired in a dark suit with a frock coat, and held a silver-topped cane in his hand, which he twirled carelessly to and fro when the counsel were making their opening statements. Mrs. Nugent was in court before the case was called on, but was led out before the judge took his seat. When called upon to plead, the prisoner, who had taken his seat, but was requested by the learned judge to stand up, said he pleaded 'Not Guilty'' to the first, count, charging him with the graver assault, but he pleaded 'Guilty' to a common assault. The particulars of the alleged act upon which the proceedings were based were made public when the case came up at the Westminster Police Court, the lady declaring that the offence was committed in a first-class railway carriage on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Company's line between Heath and Victoria Stations on the night of Easter Monday. Mr. Cluer said, on behalf of the prosecution, he thought he might fairly say that the justice of the case would be amply satisfied if, after the defendant having pleaded guilty to the second count, the prosecution offered no evidence on the other count. He wished to add one word, and that was that no attempt whatever had been made to compromise or arrange the matter in any way. Hearing the defendant plead guilty to the common assault, and having already seen the pain that the matter had caused both to the prosecutrix and her parents, and knowing what the ordeal was of appearing and giving evidence in such a case, he ventured to think the justice of the case would be met by his lordship dealing with the confession of guilt which had come from the defendant.
Sir C. Russell: I wish to call your lordship's attention, only in a few words, to the position of the matter. It appears on he face of the depositions, and in the evidence of tho inspector of police at the station where the charge was made in the neighbourhood of Victoria Station, that the prisoner at the bar was, even at that time — not an inconsiderable time after the alleged occurrence—in drink. And in that condition of things he is not in a position to deny that he did misconduct himself; but he was prepared to resist, if necessary, the more serious charge. It is noticeable that the lady herself, against whom I am not going to say a word, did hesitate for a considerable time to make any charge at all. She left the office of the railway inspector and returned to that office after an interval of time, when she said she desired to make a charge.
The Judge: I observe in the depositions that she did make an accusation tantamount to the first count before she left the office; then the formal question was put to her as to whether she wished to charge the defendant. It was then that she left the office for the purpose of consideration, and afterwards she returned and made the charge.
Sir C. Russell: Your lordship's recollection is accurate. When I spoke of her not making a charge I did not mean to say that she did not make the accusation, but that she hesitated to make the formal charge. The representatives of the prosecution having decided to offer no evidence, I think the justice of the case will be met if your lordship will accept the defendant's plea, and will sentence him on the second count.
The Judge: I think the verdict of the jury should be taken on the first count.
The jury having been sworn, found a verdict of 'Not Guilty' on the first count.
Sir Charles Russell then, on behalf of Mr. Nugent, said: My client deeply regrets that his indiscretion in the matter of drink should have led him into the position in which he now finds himself; and he desires to express that deep regret to your lordship.
The Judge: We cannot lose sight of the statements he made afterwards when he was in possession of all his faculties, and that what he said would, but for what has now occurred, have left a stigma upon the young lady by his saying that the charge made was an attempt to levy blackmail.
Sir C. Russell: He never said so, my lord. Something of the kind was said by the solicitor at the first hearing, but it was not made by counsel, and not a word was said which could in any way reflect upon the character of the young lady.
Mr. Cluer: The words used by the defendant were: 'This is a plant; this is another Colonel Baker's case'. The evidence was given by Inspector Laws.
The Judge: The court will adjourn for a few moments. Upon this the defendant took a seat in the dock, and the judge and magistrates retired.
The judge and the magistrates returning into court, after a few minutes' absence, his lordship addressed the defendant in thie following terms:— Defendant, we have carefully considered the circumstances under which you have pleaded 'Guilty' to having assaulted this young lady in a railway carriage, where she had been sitting alone, and to which you, after being alone in a smoking carriage, went. And we have not lost sight of the observations that have been made by your learned counsel, and in your interests undoubtedly we have had a few of the facts and circumstances which lie, acting for you, thought necessary and desirable to impress upon the attention of the court. Those facts and circumstances are such that we feel it our duty to pass upon you a sentence of imprisonment with hard labour, and that sentence is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for six calendar months.
Mr. Cluer: May I ask your lordship, under the power that your lordship has in a case of assault, to order that the prosecutrix's costs should also be paid by the defendant?
The Judge: I think, having regard to the position of the defendant, that that would be a reasonable order, and I make it: That he pays the cost of the prosecution. Failing payment, the court may direct imprisonment, not with hard labour.
Sir Charles Russell asked that the prisoner's wife might have an opportunity of speaking with her husband, and his lordship acceded to the request. The defendant, who appeared to feel deeply the sentence passed upon him, was then removed from the dock.
|A Shoreditch Daniel (1913)
Joseph Mordecai agreed with Messrs Berry, a firm of tailors, to show two advertising pictures on the illuminated curtain of a music hall, but failed to do so, displaying (on some occasions at least) only one. Judge Cluer dismissed Mordecai's claim for payment, but a few days later his counsel applied for a retrial on the grounds that the judge had misdirected himself - in other words, made made a mistake of law, and should have ordered part-payment. He agreed: I have made a mistake, and I never ought to have made it. I was influenced by other cases like this that had been before me, and I ought not to have been. The application is allowed. But he added Tell the defendants from me that it is no use defending, as the proper judgement will be for the plaintiff for three guineas. They declined his advice, and when they returned to court for the new trial, having apologised again for his error, and for further prejudging the outcome, he said:
Judge Cluer: You are tailors. If I contracted for twenty suits of clothes, and you only supplied nineteen, am I not to pay for the nineteen? If that is so let us make the contract at once.
Defendant: I could not be there every night to see what was displayed, and I do not know what actually was shown except on the night mentioned.
Judge Cluer: You are very foolish not to have followed the advice I sent you. There will be judgment for the plaintiff for £3 10s. and costs.
Defendant: Then it is very unfair, and I think the verdict is biased.
|Lesson from Ancient Rome (1913)
A debtor at Whitechapel County Court said he was not in business and the debt was his wife's; the business was assigned to his wife two years ago, and he produced the deed.
Judge Cluer (to the plaintiff): The law says a man can assign his business to his wife and live in idleness. If I had my way I would have a bill printed in big type and placed outside the shop, stating 'I am dishonest; I won't pay. l am also an idle dog and do nothing, and intend to live on my wife.'
The plaintiff's solicitor said that the defendant had been in employment, and his evidence showed that he had an interest in his wife's business.
Judge Cluer: He prefers to say that he lives a life of idleness. There are some people who would even claim that that is not discreditable.
The plaintiff's solicitor (to the defendant): Can you make an offer?— No, I cannot.
Judge Cluer: In ancient Rome a debtor was handed over as a slave to his creditor and made to work.
Solicitor: It is a pity we have not such a remedy now.
Judge Cluer: Ah, but that brought on a serious disturbance.
His Honour said he had no evidence of means, and could not commit the debtor, who was a selt-confessed dishonest person. A fresh order for the payment of 10s a month was made, and the judge told the plaintiff that if anyone saw the defendant spend half-a-crown in a public-house, a committal order would be made at once.
|Harsh justice (1920)
The Seabrights Endowed Schools [in Wolverley, near Kidderminster, funded by properties in the City and Bethnal Green] had obtained an order for the Hints' house to be given up in three weeks. Mrs George Hints said he had been unable to find a place, as she had eight children under 14 and her husband was in the army. She thought it very harsh that she should be put to the worry in view of the deplorable conditions under which she was living. Her children were lying in water during the night owing to the rain.
Judge Cluer: That is just it; you did not think it fit to inhabit, so you did not pay the rent, and I had to make the order for possession.
Defendant: I won't care if I could get a back room even, but nobody will have me with eight children.
Judge Cluer: If you had paid your rent I would not have turned you out.
Defendant: I have offered it.
Judge Cluer: Yes, but too late.
Defendant: Well, if I must go, would you give me anything from the court that would admit me to the workhouse? I cannot walk the streets with eight children.
Judge Cluer: I cannot give you anything from here. You must go in seven days.
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