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mischief has she inflicted upon herself ? From what has she suffered but from this undisplined and cruel spirit of accusation and rash judgment?-A spirit that will look at nothing dispassionately, and which, though proceeding from a zeal and enthusiasm for the most part honest and sincere, is nevertheless as pernicious as the wicked fury of dæmons, when it is loosened from the sober dominion of slow and deliberate justice. What is it that has lately united all hearts and voices in lamentation ?-What but these judicial executions, which we have a right to style murders, when we see the axe falling, and the prison closing upon the genuine expressions of the inoffensive heart ;-sometimes for private letters to friends, unconnected with conduct or intention ;-sometimes for momentary exclamations in favour of royalty, or some other denomination of government different from that which is established.
These are the miseries of France,-the unhappy attendants upon revolution ; and united as we all are in deploring them, upon what principle of common sense shall we vex and terrify the subjects of our own country in the very bosom of peace, and disgust them with the Government, which we wish them to cherish, by unusual, irritating, and degrading prosecutions ?
Indeed, I am very sorry to say that we hear of late too much of the excellence of the British Government, and feel but too little of its benefits. They, too, who pronounce its panegyrics, are those who
alone prevent the entire public from acceding to them; —the eulogium comes from a suspected quarter, when it is pronounced by persons enjoying every honour from the Crown, and treating the people upon all occasions with suspicion and contempt. The three estates of the kingdom are co-ordinate, all alike representing the dignity, and jointly executing the authority of the nation ; yet all our loyalty seems to be wasted upon one of them. How happens it else; that we are so exquisitely sensible, so tremblingly alive to every attack upon the Crown, OR THE NoBLES that surround it, yet so completely careless of what regards THE ONCE RESPECTED AND AWFUL. COMMONS OF GREAT BRITAIN ?
If Mr. Frost had gone into every coffee-house, from Charing-cross to the Exchange, ---lamenting the dangers of popular government reprobating the peevishness of opposition in Parliament, and wishing in the most advised terms, that we could look up to the Throne and its excellent Ministers alone, for quiet and comfortable government, do you think that we should have had an indictmentI ask pardon for the supposition; I can discover that you are laughing at me for its absurdity. Indeed, I
yol? whether it is not the notorious language of the highest men, în and out of Parliament, to justify the alienation of the popular part of the Government from the spirit and principle of its trust and office, and to prognosticate the very ruin and downfall of England, from a free and uncorrupted
representation of the great body of the people? 'I solemnly declare to you, that I think the whole of this system leads inevitably to the dangers we seek to avert ;-it divides the higher and the lower classes of the nation into adverse parties, instead of uniting and compounding them into one harmonious whole ;--it embitters the people against authority, which, when they are made to feel and know is but their own security, they must, from the very nature of man, unite to support and cherish. I do not believe that there is any set of men to be named in England, -I might say, that I do not know an individual, who seriously wishes to touch the Crown, or any branch of our excellent constitution; and when we hear peevish and disrespectful expressions concerning any of its functions, depend upon it, it proceeds from some practical variance between its theory and its practice. These variances are the fatal springs of disorder and disgust ;-they lost America, and in that unfortunate separation laid the foundation of all that we have to fear; yet, instead of treading back our steps, we seek recovery in the system which brought us into peril. Let Government in England always take care to make its administration correspond with the true spirit of our genuine constitution,—and nothing will ever endanger it. Let it seek to maintain its corruptions by severity and coercion, --and neither laws nor arms will support it ;—These are my sentiments, and I advise you, however unpopular they may be
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at this moment, to consider them, before you repel them.
If the Defendant, amongst others, has judged too lightly of the advantages of our government, reform his errors by a beneficial experience of them ; above all, let him feel its excellence to-day in its beneficence ; let him compare in his trial the condition of an English subject with that of a citizen of France, which he is supposed in theory to prefer. These are the true criterions by which, in the long run, individuals and nations become affectionate to governments, or revolt against them ;-for men are neither to be talked nor written into the belief of happiness and security, when they do not practically feel them, nor talked or written out of them, when they are in the full enjoyment of their blessings : but if you condemn the Defendant upon this sort of evidence, depend upon it, he must have his adherents, and, as far as that goes, I must be one of them.
Gentlemen, I will detain you no longer, being satisfied to leave you, as conscientious men, to judge the Defendant as you yourselves would be judged ; and if there be any amongst you, who can say to the rest, that he has no weak or inconsiderate moments, that all his words and actions, even in the most thoughtless passages of his life, are fit for the inspec-. tion of God and man, he will be the fittest person to take the lead in a judgment of Guilty, and the properest Foreman to deliver it with good faith and firmness to the Court.
I know the privilege that belongs to the Attorney General to reply to all that has been said ; but perhaps, as I have called no witnesses, he may think it a privilege to be waived. It is, however, pleasant to recollect, that if it should be exercised, even with his superior talents, his honour and candour will guard it from abuse.
MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL.
GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY,
The experience of some years has taught mé, that in the useful administration of justice, as it is administered by the Juries in this country, little more is necessary than to lay before them correctly the facts upon which they are to form their judgment, with such observations as naturally arise out of those facts.
Gentlemen, feeling that very strongly at present, I am certainly bound in some measure to account to you, why I feel it my duty in this stage of this
proceeding to avail myself of that liberty which my learned friend has stated to belong to me in addressing you again.
Gentlemen, my learned friend has thought proper to state this prosecution as įthe prosecution of in