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case, I should, in so doing, deliver the Jury, and every man in this country, to the mercy of every newspaper printer in this kingdom, to be traduced and vilified, just as the malice of any man, who chose to pay for vending his own scandal, should dictate ; I therefore entreat you to bring the case home to your own bosoms, and to act for the public, as in such an instance you would wish to act for yourselves. I must likewise say, that if you are to look at the intention of the Defendants in the other matter contained in the same paper, you will find various strong and even intemperate things. Among others, you will find the following, which, if it did not show a seditious, did not breathe a very temperate spirit : “ Well might Mr. Fox call this the 6 most momentous crisis that he ever heard of in the “ history of England; for we will venture to say, " there is not any one species of tyranny, which might

not, in the present day, be tried with impunity; “ no sort of oppression which would not find, not “ merely advocates, but supporters; and never, never “ in the most agitated moments of our history, were

men so universally tame, or so despicably feeble."

This paragraph is no advertisement; it came from no Society ; and will, I take it for granted, not be disavowed by the Defendant.

Upon the question of a reform of Parliament, I remain of the same opinion which I have always entertained; and whatever may have been said or thought by Mr. Fox, Mt. Pitt, the Duke of Richmond, the late Earl of Chatham, or the late Sir George Saville, or by any man, let his authority have been ever so great, never while I live will I consent to vote for a reform in Parliament, until I see something specific to be done, and can be very sure that the good to be gained will make it worth while to hazard the experiment.

In this way of thinking I am the more confirmed, from the circumstance, that of all the wise and excellent men who have at different times agitated the question of reform, none of them have ever been able to agree upon any one specific plan. And I declare, that I would rather suffer death than consent to open a door for such alterations in the government of this country, as chance or bad men might direct ; or even good men, misled by bad, might, in the first instance, be inclined to adopt. I shudder, indeed, when I reflect on what have been the consequences of innovation in a neighbouring country. The many excellent men who there began to try experiments on government, confining their views within certain liinits of moderation, and having no other object than the public good, little did they foresee in their outset the excesses and crimes which would follow in the progress of that revolution, of which they were the authors, and of which they were themselves destined to become the victims. They are now lying in the sepulchres of the dead, and the tombs of mortality; and most willingly, I am persuaded, would they have consigned themselves to

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their fate, if, by their death, they could have saved their unhappy country from the horrors and miseries of that dreadful anarchy into which it has fallen. Never, with such examples before my eyes, will I stake the blessings which we possess under the government of this country, upon the precarious consequences of innovation; nor consent to any alteration, of which, whatever may be stated as its object, the precise effects can never be ascertained. Indeed, I must think that my friend Mr. Erskine, in his propositions with respect to a reform, allows himself to talk like a chitd, and does not sufficiently consult that excellent judgment which he displays upon every other occasion. But let me entreat him to reflect on the situation in which both of us are now placed, and which, if, twenty years ago, any person told me I should have attained, I should have regarded it as madness. If we, by our industry (my Friend, indeed, with the advantage of his superior talents), have acquired a degree of opulence and distinction, which we could not reasonably have looked for, let us be thankful to that government to? whose protection and favour we are, in a great measure, indebted for our success. And do not let us, by any rash attempt upon our constitution, put it out of the power of our children to rise to similar situations, or deprive them of those blessings which we have ourselves so signally experienced. Do not let us pull down a fabric, which has been the admiration of ages, and which it may be impossible to! erect anew. Let me again call your attention to the paper upon which this prosecution is founded. (Here Mr. Attorney General read several extracts from the Declaration.) After what you have heard, I think it is impossible to doubt of the libellous tendency of this publication. It states, as I have already said, the whole of our government as one mass of grievances and abuse; while it does not so much as enumerate a single blessing or advantage with which it is attended. It represents it as corrupt and oppressive in every branch, as polluted in its very source, its legislature, and its courts of justice. What, I ask, can be supposed to be the spirit by which such representations are dictated, and the consequences to which they are calculated to lead ? Can

Can you admit such representations to have been brought forward bona fide, and from no other motive, than the wish to procure a peaceable and legal redress of grievances? If you cau admit this, you will of course find the Defendants not guilty. But if it shall appear otherwise, let me remind you of that duty which you owe to the public, with whose safety and protection you are intrusted, and whose interests you are to consult in the verdict, which you shall give. Let me remind you of the necessity of checking, in proper time, the spirit of sedition, and frustrating the designs of the factious, before it be too late. Let me conclude with obsery. , ing, that I have brought forward this prosecution as a servant of the public, influenced by my own judg: ment, and acting from what conceived to be my

duty. I had no other view than the public advantage ; and should you be of opinion that the Defendants ought to be declared not guilty, I trust you will acquit me of any intention of acting either impertinently with respect to you, or oppressively to the Defendants. I shall then retire, conscious of having done my duty in having stated my opinion, though inclined, in deference to your verdict, to suppose myself mistaken.

Lord Kenyon then gave a Charge in substance as

follows: Gentlemen of the Jury-There are no cases which call forth greater exertions of great abilities than those that relate to political libels. And as this cause, both on the part of the prosecution, and also on behalf of the Defendants, has been so amply discussed that the subject is exhausted, I should have satisfied mye: self with what has been already said, if there was not a duty lying on me, which by the law of the land it is incumbent on me to discharge.

The liberty of the press has always been, and has, justly been, a favourite topio with Englishmen. They have looked at it with jealousy whenever it has been invaded; and though a licenser was put over the press, and was suffered to exist for some years after the coming of William, and after the Revolution, yet the reluctant spirit of English liberty called for a repeal of thąt law; and from that time to this it has not been shackled and limited more than it ought to be.

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