« PreviousContinue »
clamour, the dignity of a court of justice. One of the rejoicing populace was seized; but the tribunal felt it would be absurd to punish a single individual for an offence common to hundreds of thousands, and dismissed him with a gentle reprimand.
The acquitted prelates took refuge from the crowd which implored their blessing in the nearest chapel where divine service was performing. Many churches were open on that morning throughout the capital, and many pious persons repaired thither. The bells of all the parishes of the city and liberties were ringing. The jury, meanwhile, could scarcely make their way out of the hall. They were forced to shake hands with hundreds. “God bless you,” cried the people ; “God prosper your famihes; you have done like honest goodnatured gentlemen. You have saved us to-day.” As the gentlemen who had supported the cause drove off, they flung from their windows handfuls of money, and bade the crowd drink to the health of the bishops and the jury.
The attorney went with the tidings to Sunderland, who happened to be conversing with the Nuncio. “ Never,” said Powis, “within man's memory, have there been such shouts and such tears of joy as to-day.” The king had that morning visited the camp on Hounslow Heath. Sunderland instantly sent a courier thither with the news. James was in Lord Feversham's tent when the express arrived. He was greatly disturbed, and exclaimed in French, “So much the worse for them.” He soon set out for London.
While he was present, respect prevented the soldiers from giving loose to their feelings; but he had scarcely quitted the camp when he heard a great shouting behind him. He was surprised, and asked what the
Nothing,” was the answer. • The soldiers are glad that the bishops are acquitted.” “Do you call that nothing?" said James, and then repeated, “So much the worse for them.” He might well be out of temper. His defeat had been complete and most humiliating. Had the prelates escaped on account of some technical defect in the case for the crown, had they escaped because they had not written the petition in Middlesex, or because it was impossible to prove, according to the strict rules of law, that they had delivered to the king the paper for which they were called in question, the prerogative would have suffered no shock. Happily for the country, the fact of
publication had been fully established. The counsel for the defence had therefore been forced to attack the dispensing power. They had attacked it with great learning, eloquence, and boldness. The advocates of the Government had been, by universal acknowledgment, overmatched in the contest. Not a single judge had ventured to declare that the Declaration of Indulgence was legal. One judge had in the strongest terms pronounced it illegal. The language of the whole town was that the dispensing power had received a fatal
Macaulay. * Note, It is the principle of the English law that the twelve Jury • men must be unanimous before a verdict can be returned. In Scotland there are fifteen in the Jury, and a simple majority decides.
1. When did the jury retire to consider 16. Describe the scene that followed on of their verdict ?
the Thames, and throughout the city ? 2. What is the difference between an 17. Did not the people weep for very joy? English jury, and a Scotch jury?
18. Where did the Bishops take refuge 3. Were not the people most anxious from the people who crowded about them that the seven Bishops, who resented the to implore their blessing ? tyranny of the King, should be acquitted? 19. How did the people act when the
4. Quote the words trom the Papal jury came out of the hall : Nuncio's letter ?
20, For what purpose did Gentlemen 5. Who kept watch on the stairs all throw handfuls of money to the crowd ? night!
21. Where was King James that morn8. Why was it necessary to do so ? ing? 7. Did the jurymen wash their hands 22. What was his exclamation when with the water they got in the morning? the news were brought to him ?
8. Which of the jurymen was deter- 23. How did the soldiers act, when the mined to bring in the bishops guilty ? King left the camp ?
9. When requested by Austin to argue 24. Show to me that the defeat of the the question, what reply did Arnold make? King was most signal and complete.
10. What was Austin's answer to this? 25. What was the dispensing power,
11. How long did Arnold hold out here spoken of ? against the eleven ?
26. What was every one's opinion in 12. When did the court meet again ? regard to it after the acquittal of the
13. What was Sir Samuel Astry's ques- bishops ? tion to the jury ?
27. Should we not value our civil and 14. Give Sir Roger Langley's reply? religious liberties most highly, and guard
15. What took place when Halifax them with jealous care ? waved his bat?
AND INTERESTING ANECDOTES &c.
1.-DEFENCE OF PELTIER. In 1803, M. Peltier published some articles in a periodical paper reflecting severely on Napoleon; who taking advantage of the peace at that tinie subsisting between Britain and France, instituted an action for libel in the English courts against Peltier. Sir James Mackintosh was retained for the defence. LATIN.
Pre-serves', ............ servare. At-ten’tion, n............tenděre. Ex-is'tence, n............ sistěre. Pros'e-cut-or, n......
Mod-er-a'tion, n.........modus. Civ'il-ized, part..........civis.
..fugěre. Pro-scribed, part.......scriběre. In'no-cence, n...... ...nocēre. Dis-tinc'tion, n..........stinguěre. Lib'er-ty, n........
.liber. Ex-clu’sive-ly, ad ......clauděre.
The real prose
GENTLEMEN, — There is one point of view in which this case seems to merit your most serious attention. cutor is the master of the greatest empire the civilized world ever saw,—the defender, a defenceless, proscribed exile. I consider this case as the first of a long series of conflicts between the greatest power in the world, and THE ONLY FREE PRESS remaining in Europe. Gentlemen, this distinction of the English press is nėw,—it is a proud and a melancholy distinction. Before the great earthquake of the French Revolution swallowed up all the asylums of free discussion on the Continent, we enjoyed that privilege more fully than others; but we did not exclusively enjoy it. In Holland, in Switzerland, in the imperial towns of Germany, the press was either legally or practically free. Holland and Switzerland are no more ; and since the commencement of this prosecution, fifty imperial towns have been erased from the list of independent states by one dash of the pen. Three or four still preserve a precarious and trembling existence. I will not say by what compliances they must purchase its
continuance. I will not insult the feebleness whose unmerited fall i do most bitterly deplore.
These governments formed a most interesting part of the ancient system of Europe. The perfect security of such feeble states, their undisturbed tranquillity amidst the wars and conquests around them, attested the moderation, the justice, the civilization, to which christian Europe had reached in modern times. Their weakness was protected only by the reverence for justice that, during a series of ages, had grown up in Christendom. This was the only fortification which defended them against those mighty monarchs to whom they offered so easy a prey. And, till the French Revolution, this was sufficient." Call to mind that happy period when we scarcely dreamed more of the subjugation of the weakest state in Europe than of her mightiest empire, and tell me if you can imagine a spectacle more beautiful to the moral eye, or a more striking proof of progress in the noblest principles of civilization. These feeble states, these monuments of justice,-the asylums of peace, of industry, and of literature,—the organs of public reason, the refuge of oppressed innocence and persecuted truth, have perished with those ancient principles which were their sole guardians. They are destroyed, and gone for ever.
There is still one spot in Europe where man can freely exercise his reason on the most important concerns of society,---where he can boldly publish his judgment on the acts of the proudest and the most powerful tyrants. The press of England is still free. It is guarded by the free constitution of our forefathers. It is guarded by the hearts and arms of Englishmen ; and I trust I may venture to say that, if it be to fall, it will fall only under the ruins of the British empire. It is an awful consideration, Gentlemen. Every other monument of European liberty has perished. That ancient fabric, gradually reared by the wisdom and virtue of our fathers, still stands. It stands, thanks be to God, solid and entire, but it stands alone, and it stands amid ruins! Believing, then, as I do, that we are on the eve of a great struggle, that this is only the first battle between reason and power,— that you have now in your hands, committed to your trust, the only remains of free discussion in Europe ; addressing you, therefore, as the guardians of the most important in terests of mankind, convinced that the unfettered exercise of reason depends more on your verdict than on any other that was ever delivered by a jury, I trust I may rely with confidence on the issue, and that you will consider yourselves as the advanced guard of liberty, -as having this day to fight the first battle for free discussion, and against the most formidable enemy that it ever encountered. Sir James Macintosh.
II.-LORD THURLOW'S DEFENCE OF HIMSELF IN THE
HOUSE OF PEERS.
Ap'pli-ca-ble, adj........plicare. Ex-trac'tion, n..... ......trahěre. In-sult’ing, adj.......... salīre. Ad-mis'sion, n............... mittěre.. Ven'er-ates, V....... ..venerari. Par-tic'u-lar, adj......... pars. Re-spect'a-ble, adj......specěre. Im-presʼsion, n......... preměre. As-cenden.cy, n........scanděre. Ac'ci-dent, N............. caděre. In-de-pend'ence, n......
At times Lord Thurlow was superlatively great. One instance of this was his celebrated reply to the Duke of Grafton, during the inquiry into Lord Sandwich's administration of Greenwich Hospital. His grace's action and delivery, when he addressed the house, were singularly dignified and graceful; but his matter was not equal to his manner. He reproached Lord Thurlow with his plebeian extraction she was the son of a clergyman), and his recent admission into the peerage ; particular circumstances caused Lord Thurlow's reply to make a deep impression at the time. His Lordship had spoken too often, and began to be heard with a civil but visible impatience; under these circumstances he was attacked in the manner we have mentioned. He rose from the wool. sack, and advanced slowly to the place from which the Chan. cellor generally addresses the house: then fixing on the Duke the look of Jove, when he grasps the thunder
“ I am amazed,” he said, in a level tone of voice, “at the attack which the noble Duke has made on me. Lords," considerably raising his voice, “I am amazed at his Grace's speech. The noble Duke cannot look before him, behind him, or on either side of him, without seeing some noble peer who owes his seat in this house to his successful exertions in the profession to which I belong. Does he not feel that it is as honourable to owe it to these as to being the accident of an accident? To all these noble Lords, the language of the noble Duke is as applicable and as insulting