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upon any principles that they have stated; but, Gentlemen, do not understand me to say, that I am wiser than they-far from it; but I say it is my duty to exercise my best judgment, and act according to it.
Gentlemen, what was the answer that Mr. Frost gave? “ I will tell you what I mean by Equality; I
mean no King.” Have any of those gentlemen stated such language? But that is not all; for that which is no act of deliberation is followed up by another question: “Why surely you cannot mean that there is “ to be no King in this country?” Says Mr. Frost,
Yes, no King in any country.” Why, Gentlemen, the single question is, Is it the law of England that these words can be spoken under such circumstances with impunity? I am free to say, that, upon the best information I can give inyself upon the subject, I cannot feel a doubt that the law of England does not permit it. I say it is the law of England, that where men will hold language of this sort, they shall be deemed guilty of. an offence against the law of England. Why then, what am I to do, if I, standa ing in this situation, am to govern myself by the wisdom of the law? I say it is my duty to submit to your decision the fact upon the law as it stands; if my learned friend is satisfied that the law is not so, he has one course before him, or if he thinks that the law ought not to be so, he has another before him. But is the Attorney General of this country to say, I will, in the regulation of my official conduct, take
upon me to say, that I am wiser than the Legisla ture of this country; I will enforce what I please, let the exigency of the country be what it may ?
Gentlemen, in the first place it is to be observed, that the language of that act of Parliament is exceed, ingly strong with respect to malicious and advised speaking, and it points out to a Jury, that they are to have distinct evidence of the intention. This species of the intention may fall under a different consideration ; but I do not wish to examine it upon a different consideration ; because if in this case the words import the intent that the record attributes to them, you have that case in point of law, that justifies
you in finding the Defendant guilty. Gentlemen, having stated thus much, rather with a view of explaining my conduct to you, than for the purpose of troubling you with particular observations upon the evidence, I will leave the case here. I think, upon the best consideration that I can give the case, that the late Attorney General did right to bring it before the public. I should not have appeared here to-day, if I had not thought it right so far as to bring it before the public; and the reason I do it is, that when a considerable number of His Majesty's subjects in a respectable situation feel-my learned friend says, your verdict is to secure us from being in a situation like France--but when they feel that these words were uttered in a manner that has led them to think, that some of the most valuable blessings they enjoy under the constitution of this coun
try, wedded to it as they are, are in danger when this language is publicly held; I say it is fit, as between the Attorney General and such persons, that a Jury of the country should say, whether such words shall be spoke with absolute impunity ? It does appear to me that they ought not to escape with absolute impunity ; but if you
any minds, you will find a verdict for the Defendant.
doubt in your
Lord Kenyon having summed up the evidence, the Jury retired for an hour and a half, and then returned with a verdict,
MR. PERRY AND MR. LAMBERT,
EDITOR AND PRINTER
THE MORNING CHRONICLE,
SUBJECT, &c. The following Speech for Mr. Perry and Mr. Lambert, the editor and printer of the Morning Chronicle, strongly illustrates our observation in the Preface, concerning the difficulty of access to genuine trials at distant periods.
These Gentlemen were tried for the publication of a libel, on the information of the Attorney General, on the gth of December, A. D. 1793, and the trial was at the time in very general circulation. Yet it was so wholly out of print, that it made no part of the present work, as originally prepared for the press ; but on its being referred to by Mr. Perry in his able defence of himself on his late trial, we procured from him the copy (the only one to be found), from which we have printed the following pages.
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The Attorney General's Information charged the Defendants, Mr. Perry and Mr. Lambert, as editor and printer of the Morning Chronicle, with publishing an Address of a society for political information, held at the Tallot Inn; at Derby, which had been sent to the Morning Chronicle for insertion, in the ordinary course of lusiness ; neither Mr. Perry nor Mr. Lambert having had any kind of connexion or correspondence with the authors.
This trial being the forst after the passing of the Libel Act, we have thought it best to print the whole of it, as originally published, with the Advertisement prefixed to it, by Mr. Perry.
In presenting the following triał to the public, at a period the most critical, perhaps, with respect to prosecutions, that ever occurred in the annals of this country, the editor was chiefly influenced by two considerations:
First, the question, which arose in an early stage of the proceedings, with respect to juries, determined a very important rule of practice, namely, that the first special jury, struck and reduced according to law, must try the issue joined between parties. This decision of a controverted point, in the manner most consistent with common sense, and, as appeared from the pleadings, agreeable to the ancient practice of the Courts, and founded upon the statute law of the realm, is certainly to be estimated as an acquisition of no common magnitude to the subject.