Sivut kuvina

try? Is it the part of a good citizen to treat | The man that dashes libels about bim upon courts of justice in that manner, with respect every one he is pleased to call bis enemy, is to cases cited from their decision in the way in the freest of all agents; but thuse that he in. which those were cited ? I mention them only flicts deep injury upon, are they free? And is in the way of observing that: for, to be sure, it talking with common sense to say it means it was perfectly impertinent to any question de the liberty of doing wrong? of attacking per. pending before you; and unless it had been sonal property, reputation, or wbat I please, equally so with respect to the cases themselves, without being controuled? Is ibat what you I should not have given you the trouble of a call freedom? It is a definition of freedom that single word upon that. There was one thing I never expected to hear; and which can, I am which fell, which gave me some little astonish sure, do no good to any cause upon the side of ment to hear, and which I remember well. I wbich it is advanced, before any one gentleman Jon't take notes, but I have a pretty general of common sense ! That I call no freedom. remembrance of things delivered by me. I With regard to the rest, what can one argue take myself to have stated to you in the outset it more? Wby, yes, it seems one may; bethe very same doctrine of intention. Why, cause if you will scan the construction of these who doubts but that the intention constitutes words well, they will not amount to a libel. the criminality of every charge of every deno Not amount to a libel ! it seemed to me a very inination and kind ? But the extreme ridicule bardy proposition when it was first of all stated, of the thing is, the talking of that doctrine upon that calling a number of men murdere was an occasion like this! See what it is. The not a libel. No, says he, It is not a libel. words are, that the American subjects for meri. Observe, I called it under-writ, it is writ betorious considerations upou' their part, and for yond common sense, instead of below it, which those considerations only, were inhumanly mur was the first apprehension I had of the thing. dered at Lexington and Concord, in the province For, be says, non constat that there were any perof Massachusets Bay. Nobody can doubt in sons of that description! non constat that there the world, but that imputing inhuman murder were any widows, orphans, or parents !-- non to the conduct of those troops, is abuse! I sup. constat that there were any beloved American pose he did not mean it as Aattery, to extol fellow-subjects—and I believe more about that them, to deliver them down to posterity (if last than any thing else ; for I do not believe such paragraphs as these had any chance of that our love to our American fellow.subjects reaching down to posterity) to deliver them was that ruling principle that governed this down to posterity in terms of heroism! He publication.-" Who, faithful to the character meant to abuse them : the words themselves of Englishmen,"-(that may be true, for aught are abuse. Then, I say, where words of direct, I know) “ preferring death to slavery, were, for unqualified, indubitable abuse are printed con that reason only, inhumanly murdered by the cerning any man alive; that the very circum- king's troops.” Non constat whether there stance of printing calumny concerning a man, were or were not any king's troops! It bap. carries along with it an intention to abuse him. pens unluckily in the last part of the sentence, Wby it is nonsense to doubt it. One may it is asserted that there were : for the sentence spin words till one loses the meaning of a sen runs" who, faithful to the character of tence, and the first words that are used in that Englisbmen, preferring death to slavery, were, sentence; but it is nonsense to deny wlien you for that reason only, inhumanly murdered by use direct abuse ; when you revile them in the king's troops :" so that if assertion was nethe very attempt to justify the charge; and cessary, there is an assertion for you. But, again use terms of abuse ; that those terms of however, how can any body trifle so much with abuse don't prove intention of abuse: primá his own understanding, or with the understandfacie, at least, they will. If a man is called a ings of others, as to suppose that, if it had been rascal, has lie any doubt whether the man that without an assertion, suppose it had been a called him so means to abuse bim or not? Why question,--why did ihe king's troops murder that is playing with words in a most ridiculous our American fellow-subjects ?-wby would manner. And these are the kind of words that not that convey a libel just as much? Are there are pow called in question; and a jury are told, any necessary forms of words that compose a that where a libeller calumniates another with libel? I think it fair to say, that that was given the imputation of a capital crime, that calumny up. It was used more to shew the skill of the carries along with it a proof of his intention to adversary than to the merits of the question. calumniate. That is the dreadful proposition But, it seems, that a soldier may commit which is to prove an intention to overturn all murder: aye, to be sure, so may any other the liberties of this country! I wish those who man alive. There is no question at all about talk about tbeir liberties, would be pleased a that; but if any man is supposed to have comlittle to have a small regard for the liberties mited murder, he ought to be tried. If any, of others. The mao that robs upon the man is charged with having committed murder bighway, while be is unapprehended, is the otherwise than in a legal course) he is calumfreest of all human creatures: but tbe men niated; he is libelled : aud ihat is all that I whom he . attacks, whom be plunders, have to contend before you. But it is a little whom he territies, these are not free as long doubted, wbether this relates to the employas tbey are under bis dominion and power. ment of the king's troops! I must admit that

that doubt was started a little before the ex- | you that this is a prosecution of two years old;. planation of one of the witnesses came: and I because the offence was committed on the suppose, if that had been in the contemplation 9th of June 1775, and because you are now of the learned gentleman when be spoke, he trying it in July 1777. Now if lie could bare would not have raised that as a matter of doubt; made any thing of the observation, it would because, as it stands now, it seems a very plain bave been just as handsome to himself (it is proposition (both upon the evidence and the nothing to ine, for I despise all those things) reason of the thing) that it was so applied, and it would have been as handsome to himself, it memit to be so applied. Then he informs you, he had thought proper to state the facts prethat I have used a number of words, and be cisely as they were. This information was gave you a list of them. I wondered to find Giled in Michaelmas term 1776; and it was The words that I had used in a written speech, vot my fault, but bis fault, that it was not brought in so many volumes into the court to brought on to trial in the Hilary term follow. be used again here. But, it seems, this is ing. But still there is between the 9th of June a collection of all the words I ever used in my 1775 and Michaelmas 1776, some time, though life; and he sits down in his chamber (tbe not two years; a year and something more. place he is must used to sit in) collecting all Then he complains that I thought proper to these words, and then comes bere with a cri- tile my information against the printers first, ticism upon them. Now | bave not the least although I might have applied to those printers inclination to derogate from that learned gen- in order to have obtained evidence against him. tleman's talents as a critic: and if the food of In the first place, I have made it a rule to mysuch poor language as mine will serve the self not to apply to any printers, in any other gentleman to employ himself upon, he is way than by charging them for their delinquite at liberty to do it upon this or any quency, and bringing them before a jury to be oiber occasion, whenever he thinks proper to triell. That is the application that I make, employ himself quite so innocently: "The and always will make to the printer of, a libel. words, in substance, I will maintain. I really in the second place, if I had thought proper to did not believe that the gentleman who hail apply, as he calls it, to the printer, I might written that paragraph, would have undertaken have had a fictitious conversatiop put upon to defend it just in the way in which he bas me, in order to prove that I had practised with clone to-day. I thought that, instead of quib- them to get Mr. Horne delivered up. Now in bling upon the force of it, that he would have the third place, it is a matter of perfect indifadvanced a great deal more boldly to it than he terence to me whether I prosecute the printer Jid; at least in the outset of the speech to-day: or the author. And I will tell you why. My and, in the latter part of his speech, he so far notion with regard to authors are, that most justified wbat I foretold in my own mind upon of them are geperated by printers; at least che subject, that, I think, he has proved to a more authors are produced by printers tban demonstration (if that were an essential part of printers by authors; and if the press was the case) that his true reason for writing that, never to go till the good sense of some author was to defy the laws of the country; for so I set it to work, it would prevent a great deal of stated it. I stated it that there was no affec- the groaning of the press upon publications tation of discussing any subject; that there and subjects much too frivolous to be regretted was no pretence or colour even of reasoning if they were lost; and I believe authors have upon any subject; under tbe mask of which grown more from the press, than the press has many others bave thought proper to cloak growu from authorship: If I stop the publie themselves, when they wish to write malig. cation of libels, I think I do an essential good nantly. But there was not even an affecla- to the country. I know if they are printed tion of that; but a blunt way of bolting out and published ostensibly, wbere to apply to $0 much calumny, without qualifying it in any stop them: but I never dill, nor ever will stop way in the world, or making it appear any them by applying to the printers. He has ex. thing more than that which I stated it to be; plaineil, by examining the printers themselves, -an attempt to defy justice. Either prosecute that no such application was made to them. this, or never prosecute again as long as you I cannot state exactly upon memory the time live, is the true language of this advertise. when I commenced tbis prosecution. I supment.

pose it must have been about the time when What is the rest of his defence? It consists ihe others were tried. If so, the consequence in abusing me; the judge; the jury; the is, that the Michaelmas term following, in conCrown-offiée ; the law as it now stands; the sequence of that application, was the very first counsel that appeared for the printers who tione that I could Gle an information at all. I were convicted of the same crime before, be was toll when the printers were tried here, cause they did not do enough and act to bis Why do not you resort 10 Mr. Horne ?-You mind; and the solicitor of the Treasury! That are afraid of Mr. Horne. To be sure, there is the nature of the defence made in this cause!

If I had known that I 7 bave chosen to separate it from the case, and should have been obliged to hear so much eloyet I beliese I shall be forgiven if I say a few quence! especially to have the trouble of reworria opon the rest of the subject. The plyiug to it; it would have been a prospect I learned gentleman thinks proper to stsie to should not have liked. But I believe, I should VOL, XX,

3 C

was some reason.

have waded through all that prospect, if I had do not believe that there exists in this world a been ever so much apprized of it before. And man of more inflexible integrity than sir James · when Mr. Horne was disclosed to be the au- Burrow. I never heard himn charged in my life thor, 1 certainly should have prosecuted him. with any thing like opprobrium. I know perfectBut before he made that disclosure, what I ly well ihat if I were to apply to sir James Bursaid is true; that he defied the laws of his row, in order to get any particular manner country under the screed of the printers. And of striking a jury, either in London or Mid. he has proved bimself that he was not to be dlesex, that he would set bimself, for the whole disclosed without a prosecution. He gave do evening afier, to contrive how he could best authority to the prioters to go to the solicitor cross the purpose of that application. I koow of the Treasury, and inake a disclosure of him : | he would, I know hiin very well, I am sure he or, if he did, they made no such disclosure. is a very bonest man; and I am sure I should And yet this manner of delaying the cause is fare exceedingly ill, if I was to attempt to one of the grounds upon which he has thought make any such application. None such is sugproper to treat me just in the manner in wbich gested. "But it is said, that the solicitor of the he did. Now I would beg you a little to re- Treasury desired sir James to take this part; 10 collect how that part of the conversation arose, take two special jurymen out of every leaf; when the learned gentleman spoke without giving this reason for it, because the books might book; when be spoke at first, and had not his be made up; and that if it was once known to words so well measured as the well-timed la- be the practice of sir James to begio in the midbour of his closet enables him to measure his dle, or ihe end, or any part, they might be made words upon paper : he certainly took the free- up by the address of the officer, so as to get .dom of charging me of using all means, right a particular set of men for a jury. I will take or wrong, foul or fair, in order to get a convic. | it as said by the gentleman: the solicitor protion.

posed that there might be taken two out of Well, what is the next article of bis ha- every leaf, which would produce the fairest rangue? I am reproached for baving boasted collection of the jury in the broadest manner, of the integrity of my character, because I de and out of the greatest number and variety of nied the truth of a false and impertinent charge; names and people. So far ) think nothing because it is neither true nur pertinent, that unfair in the solicitor's application: and I do ever I had employed myself in the way in not know, I protest to God, at this very mowhich I am so represented to have employed ment, wbat earthly reason sir James Burrow myself. And what is the boast upon that? It could have to refuse that, except the one wbich is a very bigh one ; for I called upon him to 1 strongly suspect him of, namely, ibat opepame his iostances. That was my boast! and that it was desired by the solicitor for the innocence, when it is able to call upon its re crown :- for if he apprehended that it would viler to name bis instances, does make a proud give the slightest ground for suspicion by takand magnificent boast. So far I boasted. Well, ing any one article of conduct whatever, he is when called upon, wbat are the instances ? very nice, I know, and very obstinate; and I The first is, that I prosecute before a special am sure, nothing would bind him more surely jury. That in a prosecution which I (the ser. to refuse to take a jury in that, which appears vant of the public) think proper (for reasons of to me to be the most impartial way; stronger public weight and importance) io produce, I and quicker than an application on the part of wish to bave men of the first character, of the the solicitor of the Treasury. That is not all ; first situation, men of t!? bighest and most ap. but the sheriffs of London are abused: the ju. proved honour, my judges ! that is the first ar. rors are named merchants, who are not so! ticle in which the opprobrium is to be justified Wby, do I make up that book? Is that one of of my using all means, foul or fair, in order to my crimes? The sheriffs of London make it obtain a conviction ! Jo ihis be has all the ad- up. When it is returned to the Crown-office, vantage that an accuser can possibly have: I the names are taken out of it, in the most imconfess the whole charge. It is my desire to partial manner; and the whole state of that, have all my actions so tried; it is my desire, iostead of loading ne or any one concerned and I will, whenever I can, obtain a tribunal of with the slightest calumny, is the fullest acthat sort; which (from the great dexterity quittal that could be had !" It does not thereand wisdoin of eloquence) is looked upon to be fore relate to any one concerned in this proseibe best topic (before them) to condemn me for cution. Then I am wrong in another thing; resorting to! This is another matter he would for under all bad administrations, there is nohave been totally deprived of, if he had submit- thing so rife as prosecutions for libels! I should ted, as those poor printers did, to be defended be glaıl to know in the abstract (without referby counsel. They would never have thought ring to those documents, so many of wbich the of abusing the Attorney General (before a spe learned gentleman produced himself) in the cial jury) only because he ibought proper to eight years I have had the honour of being Atlay his cause before that jury! It is a singu. torney-General, bow many prosecutions for lar way to take those topics wbich go beyond libels have been brought? I'wish that was statthe ability or practice of any counsel whatever! ed, in order to sbew the monstrous number of

Then the next attack is upon the poor mas. prosecutions for libels! They are not so many ter of the Crown-office, sir James Burrow. I as I could wish ; for if you compare the pro

secutions with the daily publications, that man pertinent questions, I did refuse it; and I apthat looks at those publications, and sees how peal to the candour and good sense of this au. rife and rank the scandal is upon all orders and dience that I did right to refuse it; and it would denominations of men, upon all branches of the bave been ridiculous to have done otherwise. government and the state, as well as private These are the topics which, as far as I can men ; whoever sees that must look at them recollect, have been produced against me, with a very peculiar eye, if he does not see With regard to the rest, the gentleman informs that the increase of the scandal is a great deal you, that the law as it stands is full of a great more than the increase of the prosecution for variety of hardships. I don't know that system that scandal ! and yet this is one of the topics of law under beaven which may not be peralso for which I have been abused ! It is said verted to purposes of hardship. I don't know also that I am corrupt in another respect, be any thing so perfectly ridiculous as to argue cause I condescend to consider myself as the from the possibility of the corruption of a good servant of the whole public, and so liable to re-, thing to its worthlessness. In order to make ceive orders from every branch of the legisla- any thing of that, he should have gone the ture. The arguments ihat one hears used upon length not only of stating what might bave these occasions, they are made only for the been done, but what was done ; otherwise you moment. I should not be astonished if from may sit and hear that glorious constitution the same quarter I had beard it was one of the (which I have known so many able and elomost monarchical sentiments in the world, toin- quent writers and speakers extol in the highest sist that there is any public officer who was not terms to the skies) you may sit and bear it reunder the orders of either House of Parliaviled from one end to the other: not for the ment. I always took it to be the assuming of mischief that it actually does; not for the inethose that call themselves Whigs (for want of quality in point of justice that it actually ada better nickname) what I bold--that in a free ministers; but wbich it might! But let him state the representatives of the people assem prove that there is any thing in my conduct of bled in parliament are a sovereign member of this prosecution that deserves those epithets that state; and that every public officer, great with which he charged it, and I must submit or small, is amenable to them. But how to be covered with them. But that will not amenable to them? ( wish that had been a make an inta of difference in your verdict. little more stated. Amenable to them to do what does it signify to you (who sit to conwrong ? No man ought to be amenable to the sider whether this be a true or a false charge) greatest and the proudest body of men what that it comes at this time or at any other ? The ever to do wrong. I have not been so amen. gentleman taxes me with folly in saying, that able: for in those instances in which I have if it were a crime in 1775, it must be so in thought it would be wrong to prosecute, I have 1777! I should hold it to be the utmost folly stated it to the House, and the House bas for- to say otherwise. If there were any improper borne the prosecution upon my representation practices with regard to the prosecution, it That has been the conduct which I have beld might be a reason of objection to those who upon the occasion; and a conduct which, if I prosecute; but with regard to the mere ques. am questioned for it (in any place where it iion to be put to the jury—is he guilty in man: would be pertinent), I should be very glad to ner and form ?-it is absolutely nothiog; it render an account of that conduct. But, says would be fully to assert it. the

gentleman (with a strain peculiar to bim I have now stated to you the progress of self), will you submit to be sworn in order to this business, referring to his own witnesses be examined by me?— To what? Yes, Sir; to for the truth of that progress; and I trust, any one fact which can be alleged in your de that upon that representation, I shall not be fence, I will subunit to be sworn to the truth of found to bave misconducted myself even in the it. But will you submit to be sworn in or course of this prosecution. I have gone very der to undergo impertinent questions about the much out of my way, and very contrary to the motives and steps of your conduct from time turn of my temper, when I have embarked so to time, such as I shall think proper to put to far in a defence of myself at all; but when you ?

facts are stated, I thought it necessary to reGentlemen, I put myself upon your good state and explain these facts. Beyond ihat, let sense! I put myself (for the question was not general and loose reflections take what place meant for you) I put myself upon the candour they please. I put myself upon my public and the good sense of the audience, that I was conduct for my justification, without boasting impertinently treated in the proposal ; and that of that conduct either one way or the other. I should have been ridiculous to have submitted if I am wrong in that conduct, let it condemn to that proposal! I spoke to some persons about me: if I am right in that conduct, let it apit (whose authority I am not permitted to cite to prove me. It is upon that only that I desire, you) wbo concurred in opinion with me: but I to rest it; without boasting or without disam sure, and I put it to the mind of every gen- claiming, either on one side or the other. ! tleman, whether I did not act right in that will say no more upon that subject, but refer matter. To have refused bim justice would it to you to determine what ought to be done have been a hard and improper measure; I upon a charge thus stated, and thus industri. did not refuse that. To refuse to answer im- ously proved upon the part of the defendapt, if

any proof had been wanting to support it upon servations might have before; yet now, upon the part of the prosecutor.

bis evidence, you see how it stands! The un

happy resistance to the legislative authority of Lord Mansfield. Gentlemen of the jury, if this kingdom by many of our fellow-subjects in ever there was a question, the true ineriis of America, is too calamitous an event not to be which lay in a very narrow compass, it is the impressed upon all your minds; all the steps present. This is an information against the leading to it are of the most universal notoriety. defendant for writing and composing, and print. The legislature of this kingdom have avowed ing and publishing, or causing to be printed that the Americans rebeltéd, because they and published, that is, for being the anthor and wanted to shake off the sovereignty of this publisher of a paper, which the information kingdom; they profess only to bring them charges as a seditious libel. If it be a seditions back to be subjects, and to quell rebellion : Jibel in its own nature, there is no justification troops are employed, money is expended upon attempted : why then there are but two points this ground; ihat the case is here, between a for you to satisfy yourselves in, in order to the just government and rebellious subjects ; for a forming of your verdict.

just and a good purpose, for the benefit of the Did he compose and publisb; that is, was whole. If I don't mistake, the first hostilities he the author and publisher of it? Upon this that are committed-(though many steps on occasion, that is entirely out of tbe case; for it both sides leading to them existed before) is admitted. As to the excuse of ignorance, or but, if I do not mistake, the first hostilities are being imposed upon (which is a topic in the those committed upon the 19th of April, 1775. case of printers and others) it is out of this If some soldiers, without authority, bad got in case, because it is avowed to be done delibe- a drunken fray, and murder had ensued, and rately; and it is now avowed, and the contents that this paper could relate to that, it would be of it. Why then tbere remains nothing more quite a different thing from the charge in the but that which reading the paper must enable information; because it is charged as a sediyou to form a judgment upon, superior to all tious libel, tending to disquiet the minds of the ihe arguments in the world; and ibat is, people. Now what evidence bas Mr. Gould

Is the sense of this paper that arraigoment given ? Why, he says, that he was sent with of the government, and the employment of the a part of the king's troops, by the orders of troops, upon the occasion of Lexington men- general Gage, the governor of the province, tioned in that paper ? Read! You will form the commander of the king's troops ; that when the conclusion yourselves. What is it? Why they began their march (which was about two it is this: that our beloved American fellow- or three in the morning) he heard (I think he subjects-(therefore innocent men)-in rebel- says he heard) a continual firing of alarm canJion against the state. They are our fellow. non, which is a signal, at certain distances, subjects; but not so absolutely beloved witb- used in America to raise the country; and that out exception ! Beloved to many purposes : be- they beard as soon as they began their march; loved to be reclaimed: beloved to be forgiven: and from thence they concluded that the probeloved to have good done 10 them : but not vincials were marching to attack them. When beloved so as to be abetted in their rebellion !- they came within sight of them, they found and therefore that certainly conveys an idea them armed, in bodies of troops armed. This that they are innocent. But farther it says, was not a stated time of peace when the king's that they were inhumanly murdered at Lex- | troops, under the authority of the governor, go ington by the king's troops, merely on account from one part to another; 10 have bodies of of their acting like Englishmen, and preferring men, in military array, armeil, and signals Jiberty to slavery! The information charges fired! but this they found. And be says, he the libel to relate to the king's government and cannot tell himself; but to a question asked the employment of his troops. Read it, and him, he says, he heard the provincials charged see whether it does relate to them. If it does, our troops. He says in his affidavit, which what is the employın.ent they are ordered upon ? he has likewise sworn to, and wbich you may what is the employment that they execute? compare, that he saw, on their arrival, he saw To murder, the paper says, innocent subjects ; a body of provincial troops armed, to the num. because they act like Englishmen, and prefer ber of about 60 or 70 men: " on our arrival liberty to slavery! Why then, what are they they dispersed, and soon after firing began; who gave the orders ? what are they who exe- but which party fired first I cannot exactly cute them ? Draw the conclusion. It don't say.” And then, towards the latter part of the stand upon argoment. If any man dares to affidavit, he says, “the provincial troops regive orders to murder a subject, or to execnte turned, to the number of about three or four those orders, or to make any subject a slave, hundred. We drew up on the Concord side of he is as high a criminal as can exist in this the bridge. The provincials came down upon state. Evidence has been examined, and (though us; upon which we engaged, and gave them unusual) I was very desirous every thing of the first fire." And says he, “ this was the fered should be heard ; and you have had Mr. first engagement after the one at Lexington. Gould examined: and whatever doubt there A continued firing from both parties lasted the might be with regard to the occasion of hosti- whole day. I myself was wounded at the atHties at Lexington; whatever weighit the ob- tack of the bridge, and am now treated with

« EdellinenJatka »