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and fair discussion. And, I think, that it is sophistical, not
to say hypocritical, to assert that we are criminal who pub-
lish works both pro et contra ; while the legislature of the
nation recognizes and protects sectarians, who, from the
pulpit, promulgate doctrines with ours equally bostile;
though perfectly as unreasonable as your own. And their
hostility is aggravated inasmuch, as, unlike our works, their
assertions cannot be answered. Their minister, in his pulpit,
is as much beyond controul or contradiction, as is the learn-
ed judge wbile delivering his charge to you. The only dif-
ference is, that the arguments of the former may annoy an
individual of susceptible feelings, while the charge of the lat- .
ter may, and in many cases has done so, injure the prisoner,
who, be it observed, is then incapable of replying to his ar-
guments or defending himself against his assertions: he is, in
fact, tongue-tied. Gentlemen, you will shortly have to de-
cide between religion as by “ law establised," and myself
as its reviler. Bear in mind, Gertlemen, that the Christian
religion is not founded on truth; nor do the Christians be-
lieve in it as a result of their philosophical researches; but
merely because their fathers and mothers have told them
that it is true, and it pleases the noble and learned keeper of
the King's conscience, and opponent of the liberty of the
press, that they shall believe so. I must here observe, that
I think it very degrading to the government, that they now
occupy the situation so lately vacated by the Anti-Constitu-
tional Society; of whom it may be said in the words of Ju-

Sanguinis in facie, non heret gutta morantur.
Pauci ridiculum et fugienter exurbe, pudorem.
Nor is it by those pests of society, the informers, only,
that we are harassed. Those very persons who ought to ap-
plaud us, are continually abusing us; they cannot see that
the blow which is apparently intended to crush ouly these
particular publications, is in reality a deadly blow aimed at
the wbole press. For having carried to such an extent their
definition, or no definition, of the word, and the publication
of-libel; what paper, obnoxious to the existing govern-
ment, can be published, or who, being an independent man,
would continue to be an editor? There is a part of this PRESS
which I would dot at present notice; but that it become
me to caution you against every source of prejudice. It is
worse than the most servile of the avowed ministerial jour-
nals, ivas!nuch as it has all its sycophancy and time-serving
baseness, without the talent to support-or the boldness to
avow it-possessed by the former: and, in addition to its
baseness, it has the impudence to arrogate to itself the title
of the “liberal press; and is it from the filthy and ignorant
assertions of such a press as this, Gentlemen of the Jury, that

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you are to receive your ideas of right and wroug-or is it
from the florid and overcharged speeches of a well-paid
Counsel, that you are to form your judgment as to our guilt
or innocence? or is it from witnesses, such as the learned
Counsel has this day called, that you are to learn what is
“contra bonos mores," and what is not? What, has the time
theo arrived, wben twelve weil informed merchants of the
world's first city, are to consider themselves bound to cast in-
to prison, all who shall dare stand forward to advocate the
cause of mental freedom, merely on the dictum of an bired
advocate, supported only by the testimony of a bribed and
ignorant witness? No, Gentlemen, I trust that bis Lord-
ship will, as is his bounden duty, tell you, that with the learn-
ed gentleman's eloquence you bave nothing to do. You
must view eyery attempt at eloquence, or more properly
speaking, interested exaggeration, as an insult to you, and as
an attempt to prejudice your minds, and render you unequal
to the just execution of your arduous duties. In short, as
an attack on your mental rights, similar to those appareutly
liberal, but certainly destructive, Dets laid for the uninitiated
gamester in the form of wine and meretricious beauty. I
should insult your understandings were I to warn you far-
ther against the insidious arts of the base and contemptible
press; and, confideut I am, that you bave already perceived,
and perceived, too, with bouest indignation, the Christian
motives of the witness for the prosecution. Consider well,
Gentlemen, the evidence adduced ; strip the speech of the
learned Counsel of its rhetorical flourish and interested cant;
restore me to liberty, and consign to contempt the hireling
crew, who, in our persons, have aimed a disguised, but not
less deadly blow at your own mental and corporeal liberty.
You are now jurors, you may on a future occasion be de-
fendants. You will be told that Judge Hale and other
Judges laid down and practised ibis law of punishing for
matters of opinion; but if the world have been cursed with
some unjust Judges, ought their conduct to be followed as
a precedent in ages long subsequent, and every way supe-
rior to theirs ? ridiculous idea. So then, while every sci-
ence, every bandicraft, is improving daily, the lawyers, who
should be the peoples' protectors, are obliged to refer back
some one or two centuries to find authorities for plundering
and oppressing their fellow subjects. To you, my Lord, I
have but little exclusively to address, and that little I trust
will not offend. On your feelings as an independent
man, I ask, and as a British Judge holding the commission
of your soverign, I demand your protection: not for myself
merely, for even should you consign me to the dungeon for
my abode, and the wretched door-mat for my bed, which
Christianity has provided for me; still, I would scorn to

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ask forbearence. But, my Lord, on you Europe, nay the
whole civilized world, all who dare claim, or know how to
appreciate mehtal freedom, are now anxiously gazing.
You cannot, it is true, confine the miud; but you can avert
the aim of our persecutors. Do so, my Lord and Gentle-
men, and your own hearts, and the gratitude of thousands
will richly reward you. In your hands I shall shortly leave
the question, not merely of my liberty, but the mental liber-
ty of mankind. As you hope for a subject for self-gratifica-
tion in your declining years, crush the reviving spirit of per-
secution, give to us liberty of publication, and thus aid the
work so well commenced by the undaunted and highly ta-
lented, though calumniated Carlile. By so doing, you will
open the way for fair and dispassionate argument, the right
must then prevail-in prison me, and you make
foes of candid opponents. Every good man of every sect
must pity us as oppressed, and admire us as undaunted, and
thus afford you another proof, that “ Jus summen sæpe
summa est malitia."

The Recorder then charged the Jury, he said, that the publication of blasphemy was punishable by law. The question for the Jury to determine was, did the defendant publish the book? The witness for the prosecution had sworn to the fact of having purchased it from the defendant, and indeed the defendant had admitted having published it; but denied that it was blasphemous. For his part, he had po hesitation in saying that it was a most blasphemous libel. The Jury turned round in the box, and having consulted for about ten minutes, returned a verdict of Guilty. The defendant was then asked if he had any thing to say.

Defendant-My Lord, you observed in your charge to the Jury on a late occasion, that it was a proof of the consciousness of guilt on the part of all who had been sentenced for this description of libel, that none of them had ventured to appeal to an bigher Court. Tois assertioin sounded a little strange to me, inasmuch as I am not aware of any Court to which I can appeal. I put the question to your Lordship. because, if there is a possibility of appeal, I will avail myself of it?

Recorder (hesitating)-You cannot appeal.

Defendant--- Then, my Lord, your assertion was gratuitous and absurd.

Recorder—You can only proceed by obtaining a writ of error from the Attorney General.

Defendant-That would, indeed, be realising the vulgar proverb of " out of the frying pan into the fire."

Recorder-You have been found guilty of publishing a blasphemous libel. That the libel is blasphemous no reasonable man can deny; but you have this day uttered blas

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phemies terrible to Christian ears. Your vanity is intolerable; for you bave taken upon yourself to define, and even to defy the law. That you have received a liberal education is evident-but you have turned your abilities to a purpose of which you will one day be ashamed. I hope, I'sincerely bope, that ’ere the period of your iinprisonment is expired, you will have seen the error of your opinions, and repented the bardihood you have displayed in support of them, and in defiance of the law. Nothing but your youth induces the court to refrain from passing a more severe punishment on you, than on any of your compeers.

But the Court find, that you are only twenty-one years of age, and they hope, that you will yet atone for your conduct. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned in bis Majesty's Gaol of Newgate for Three Years, and at the expiration of that term, your are to enter into your own recognizance in the sum of One Hundred Pounds, to keep the peace for your life; and I take this opportunity of informing yon, that should you forfeit those recognizances you will be liable to banishment for seven years—and should you

be found in England before the expiration of that term, you will be liable to transportation for fourteen years.

I medo tion this that you may not be ignorant of the consequences of offending in future.

Lefendant-My Lord, in your address to the Jury, you asserted, which is vitterly

Recorder-The Court cannot hear any thing you have to say.

The defendant was then conducted back to prison.



The readers of “ The Republican" are aware, that I purposed to send such a petition to the House of Commons, if a member could be found to present it: the following letters will explain what has been done in the matter, and the Petition, when read, may excite wonder, that Sir Francis Burdett should decline to present it. Its seriousness could have been the only obstacle. Nothing has been heard in answerto No. 3, nor is the disposal of the Petition known. TO SIR F. BURDETT, M. P., WESTMINSTER. No. 1. Sir,

Dorchester Goal, May 30, 1824. In writing the accompanying petition, my purpose was to send it direct to Mr. Peel, with the accompanying letter; but thinking, that, from the most important character of the petition, it would be more desirable to have it presented by some one of the members, really the representative of a respectable portion of the peo

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ple, I feel no encouragement to ask such a favour from


other member than yourself. Should

you, Sir Francis, deem it prudent on your part, to present this Petition for me, I have only to ask that you

will be pleased to destroy the enclosed letter addressed to Mr. Peel; but should you deem it imprudent, may I solicit your aid in furtherance of my object, so far as to request that you will be pleased to allow your servant to deliver the petition and letter to Mr. Peel.

My view of the subject of the petition is this, that if Christianity be really what its preachers represent, no discussion can injure it; if not, that we cannot too soon be rid of it. Without an exception, it is the most important public question in existence, and points to greater, more certain, more speedy benefits, than any other now under consideration, not only to the people of this and the neighbouring Island, but all over the earth. I am Sir, your obedient Servant,


Dorchester Goal, June 14, 1824.
On the 30th of May, I addressed a packet containing a petition to
the House of Commons, and two letters to your house in St.
James' Place, and sent them through the post. It will be a great
satisfaction to me to know that they have passed your hand, a
few days before parliament be prorogued : a word in answer will
be esteemed a favoar.
I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,


House of Commons, June 17, 1824.
I am exceedingly sorry you did not get my answer to your first
letter - I have, however, no one to blame as its not being sent was
owing to my own forgetfulness. It was however to say, that I was
very desirous not to have it just now presented for reasons too
many here to be repeated. At the same time, in case you insisted
upon it, I should do it.

I think the same now, and that it can have no good effect either personally or publicly. I remain, Sir, with great sorrow for situation, your humble Servant,


Dorchester Gaol, June 18, 1824. I HAVE just received yours of yesterday's date, and trouble you in reply to say, that I take a different view as to the personal and public utility of iny Petition to the House of Commons, and am certainly most anxious that it be presented and printed; but at the same time, Sir Francis, I cannot urge it upon your attention, as I make it a common principle in my own conduct, not to do that to please another which I do not think well to be done, and which would be painful to myself. It was under this sentiment, that I adopted


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