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“ other man towards supporting the right of the “ nation against the prosecution ; and it is for this

So it is a subscription defence, you hear.

“ P. S. I intended, had I stayed in England, to “ have published the Information, with my

remarks upon

it"-that would have been a decent thing-“ before the trial came on; but as I am otherwise

engaged, I reserve myself till the trial is over, “ when I shall reply fully to every thing you shall “ advance." I hope in God he will not omit any one single word that I have uttered to-day; or shall utter in my future address to you. This conceited menace I despise, as I do those of a nature more cut-throat,

Gentlemen, I do not think that I need to trouble you any further for the present : according as you shall be of opinion, that the necessarily mischievous tendency and intent of this book is that which I have taken the liberty (at more length than I am warranted perhaps) to state to you; according as you shall or shall not be of that opinion, so necessarily will be your verdict. I have done my duty in bringing before a Jury an offender of this magnitude. Be the event what it may, I have done my duty; I am satisfied with having placed this great and flourishing community under the powerful shield of your protection.

The publication having been proved, and a letter from Mr. Paine acknowledging it; the letter to the Attorney General mentioned in the preface, and the passages selected in the Information, having been read; Mr. Erskine, as Counsel for the Defendant, spoke as follows :

GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY,

THE

HE Attorney General, in that part of his address which referred to a letter, supposed to have been written to him from France, exhibited signs of strong sensibility and emotion.-I do not, I am sure, charge him with acting a part to seduce you ; on the contrary, I am persuaded, from my own feelings, and from my acquaintance with my friend from our childhood upwards, that he expressed himself as he felt.-But, Gentlemen, if he felt those painful embarrassments, you may imagine what Mine must be :-He can only feel for the august character whom he represents in this place, as a subject for his Sovereign, too far removed by custom from the intercourses which generate affections, to produce any other sentiments than those that flow from a relation common to us all : but it will be remembered, that I stand in the same relation * towards another great person more deeply implicated

this supposed letter ; who, not restrained from the cultivation of personal attachments by those qualifications which must always secure them, has cxalted my duty to a Prince, into a warm and honest affection between man and man. Thus circumstanced, I certainly should have been glad to have

* Mr. Erskine was then Attorney General to the Prince of Wales.

had an earlier opportunity of knowing correctly the contents of this letter, and whether (which I positively deny) it proceeded from the Defendant. Coming thus suddenly upon us, I see but too plainly the impression it has made upon you who are to try the cause, and I feel its weight upon myself, who am to conduct it ; but this shall neither detach me from my duty, nor enervate me (if I can help it) in the discharge of it.

If the Attorney General be well founded in the commentaries he has made to you upon the book which he prosecutes ;if he be warranted by the law of England, in repressing its circulation, from the illegal and dangerous matters contained in it ;if that suppression be, as he avows it, and as in common sense it must be, the sole object of the prosecution, the public has great reason to lament that this letter should have been at all brought into the service of the cause :--It is no part of the charge upon the record ;--it had no existence for months after the work was composed and published ;-it was not written by the Defendant, if written by him at all, till after he had been in a inanner insultingly expelled from the country by the influence of Govern, ment; it was not even written till he had become the subject of another country.-It cannot, therefore, by any fair inference, decipher the mind of the author when he composed his work; still less can it affect the construction of the language in which it is written. The introduction of this letter at all is, therefore, not only a departure from the charge, but a dereliction of the object of the prosecution, which is to condemn the book :since, if the condemnation of the author is to be obtained, not by the work itself, but by collateral matter not even existing when it was written, nor known to its various publishers throughout the kingdom, how can a verdict upon such grounds condemn the work, or criminate other publishers, strangers to the collateral matter on which the conviction may be obtained to-day? I maintain, therefore, upon every principle of sound policy, as it affects the interests of the Crown, and upon every rule of justice, as it affects the author of The Rights of Man, that the letter should be wholly dismissed from your consideration.

Gentlemen, the Attorney General has thought it necessary to inform you, that a rumour had been spread, and had reached his ears, that he only carried on the prosecution as a public prosecutor, but without the concurrence of his own judgment; and therefore to add the just weight of his private character to his public duty, and to repel what he thinks a calumny, he tells you that he should have deserved to have been driven from society, if he had not arraigned the work and the author before you. Here too we stand in situations very different: I have no doubt of the existence of such a rumour, and of its having reached his ears, because he says so; but for the narrow circle in which any rumour, personally implicating my learned friend's character, has

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