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proceeds from motives truly criminal, or whether laudable zeal for the constitution of their country is not their only motive for stating to you the conduct of this Defendant.
Gentlemen, there is another circumstance.--I will say but a word to you upon it ; that is this : that the propriety of prosecuting for words of this sort de. pends a great deal upon the time and season at which those words are uttered.
Gentlemen, we know, that in this country the legislature found it necessary to interfere, and by a positive law to enact, that any man who should dare to affirm that the King and Parliament could not regulate the succession to the Crown, should be guilty of High Treason ; God forbid the time should ever come, and I do not believe it ever can come, when the legislature, acting upon the same principle, shall be obliged to say, that if it is at this hour High Treason for men deliberately to affirm that the King and Parliament of this country cannot regulate the succession to the Crown, it shall be innocent for men to say that the King and Parliament of this country have no right to continue any government in this country. Why then, Gentlemen, if this doctrine of Equality and No King has been attended with such consequences as it is notorious to all mankind it has been attended with, the notoriety of the fact renders it incumbent upon those, whose duty it is to bring such Defendants before a Jury of their country, for that Jury to say, as between the country and in
dividuals, whether, under such circumstances as will be laid before you, he is to be publicly permitted to hold such doctrines as those which are stated, in a manner that seems to evince that they are not stated for any useful
purpose ; but that they are stated for the purpose of trying, whether there is any law in this country that will secure the government of the country from attacks, which mean nothing but to display the audacity with which men dare to attack that government? And if you shall be convinced, upon the whole of the evidence before you, that the case is such as I have stated it to be, this I am sure of, that you will duly weigh the consequences of the verdict, however you shall be disposed to give it, for the Crown, or for the Defendant; and I am sure, the Crown, upon the temperate consideration of what the Jury does, will not be dissatisfied with that verdict, let it be what it may. The constitution of this country, if it be excellent, if it has really handed down to us those great and invaluable blessings, which, I believe, ninety-nine persons out of a hundred are convinced it has, and if it be a matter of anxiety to transmit them to our posterity, you'will remember that the stability of those blessings finally and ultimately depends upon the conduct of Juries. It is with them, by their verdicts, to establish their fellow-subjects in the enjoyment of those rights; it is with them to say in what cases those rights have been invaded ; and the same constitution that has left it to them to say in what cases those rights have been invaded,
has also bound every honest man to say, that when they have given their decision upon it, they have acted properly between the country and the individual who is charged with the offence.
Gentlemen, under these circumstances, I shall proceed to lay the case before you, and I have only again to repeat, if
you shall find, upon a due consideration of this case, that this is an hasty, an unguarded, and unadvised expression of a gentleman otherwise well disposed, and who meant no real mis, chief to the country, you will be pleased, with my consent, to deal with the Defendant as a person under those circumstances ought to be dealt with. I never will press a Jury for a verdict, in a case in which, whatever
be the strictness of the law as between man and man, acting upon moral and candid feelings, it ought not to be asked for ; and having given you my sentiments, I leave the Defendant in your hands.
EVIDENCE FOR THE CROWN..
John Taitt, of Oxford Street, Upholsterer, sworn,
-Examined by Mr. SOLICITOR GENERAL.
know Mr. John Frost ? A. I never saw him but that evening in my life, Q. What evening?
A. The Oth of November last.
Q. Were there any other persons in the coffeehouse?
A. Yes, several gentlemen.
A. Mr. Yatman was there, Mr. Bullock, there were not many that I knew.
Q. Did you see Mr. Frost there?
A. He came from a room above stairs with several gentlemen into the coffee-room.
Q. What did you first perceive with respect to Mr. Frost ?
A. He addressed himself, I think, first to Mr. Yatman, but that I am not certain; he was asked how long he had been returned from France.
Lord Kenyon. Was he asked that by Mr. Yat
A. By Mr. Yatman or some of the other gentlemen ; he said, he was very lately returned.
Mr. Solicitor General. What did he say more?
“ Who are you,
he said, things were going on very well there, they were doing very well.
Q. Did you hear him say any thing more? A. That he should very shortly return there. Q. What more? A. There was nothing more, till, a few minutes after, he went into the body of the coffee-room, two or three boxes from where I was ; I heard him exalting his voice, and he was for equality" I am for “ equality"-upon which I got off my seat, and I went forward, and inquired,
Sir?" Lord Kenyon. You asked him?
A. Yes, because I did not know him. Mr. Yalman answered, That is Mr. Frost; upon which I asked him, how he dared to utter such wordsHe still continued, “I am for equality and no King." Mr. Yatman asked him, if he meant no King in this country, and he said, Yes, no King or no Kings'; I rather think it was in the plural number. That the constitution of this country was a very bad one,
Q. Did he say any thing more?
A. He said nothing more. I said, he ought to be turned out of the coffee-room ; upon which he walked up the room and placed his back to the fire, and wished, I believe, rather to retract, if he could have retracted, what he had said ; but he still continued, he was for no King and he was for equality. He quitted the room very shortly after by a general hiss from all the company: