Imágenes de páginas

impartial judgement;

and the consequence was, a resolute persuasion of the truth of the cause of Infidelity. They then, with an energy of purpose which would have done honour to a better acuse, forsook their former employments, and came to London in order to continue the publication of the proscribed pamphlet, without prospect of pecuniary emolument, and in the full expectation of suffering and disgrace.

Let those who institute these prosecutions, draw the proper inference from these facts. Let them pause before they strike, and consider that every prosecution may produce a similar effect; that they cannot crush even their immediate victim; that they may carry scepticism and infidelity into societies, which would otherwise have never been contaminated by them; and thus, as friends and advocates, produce more deadly mischief to the cause of Christianity, than its most malignant and inveterate enemies.

These observations are, of course, only intended for the candid consideration of those well-meaning but mistaken per: sons, who persuade themselves that they “ do God service" by supporting prosecutions of this nature. If there be persons in this enlightened age, who institute and conduct such prosecutions to promote the paltry purposes of party, or from the baser motive of gain, to such persons it would be in vain to address the language of reason and liberality; they must be left to their own consciences, and to that disgrace in which the force of public opinion will sooner or later overwhelm them.

The Editor has thought that the proceedings in the House of Commons on the petition of the Defendant, would be an acceptable Supplement to the second edition, and he has consequently done his best to exhibit an accurate report. As one who was present in Court, he thinks it his duty to add, that the Solicitor General is mistaken in stating that it was put to the Defendant's counsel to take his objection in the form of a challenge, and that he declined so doing. No such point of form was raised; the objection was considered by the Court as one made in the way of challenge, and it expressly decided

that it was no ground of challenge.—The statement of Dr. Lushington was moreover perfectly correct, however inclined the Solicitor General might be to discredit it, that hard labour was actually inflicted on the Defendant, although not mentioned in his sens tence, and notwithstanding the recommendation of the Jury, and the professions of clemency by which it was followed.


Before NEWMAN KNOWLYS, Esq., Common

Sergeant of the City of London, and a
London Jury


The names of the Jury were called over, and the officer was proceeding to swear them, when

Mr. Hill inquired of the counsel for the prosecution, whether there were more than one Jury in attendance.

Mr. Adolphus.-Certainly not.

Mr. Hil (addressing the Court).-My Lord, I appear for the Defendant in the case of the King o. Barkley, and I have an objection to make to the Jury in this case. I am well aware that I have no strict right to make my objection in this way. The law upon that point is infavour of my learned friend, who appears on behalf of the prosecution of this indictment; but I must say, that when the matter to be tried is, whether a certain book to be produced in this case be a libel, or not? such a question cannot be fairly tried by the same Jury who have already pronounced an opinion upon that very same book in the case of the King o. Vamplew, which was tried here on Friday last.' But I am quite sure that my learned friend will allow my objection: I am very willing to attend here again, but I must protest against this indict. ment being tried by a Jury who have already given an opinion upon the subject of this libel, as it must be presumed that they have a disposition to make their verdict in this case consistent with that which they have already delivered.

Common Sergeant. The Jury have given an opinion on the former case, under the direction of the Court; and I am persuaded that no human being who heard that charge tried can doubt that the book or pamphlet then before the Jury contained a most infamous libel. If, however, you conceive that the Jury have received an improper impression as to the nature of the libel, it is a question for the consideration of the Court, whether such an improper impression exists. No such impression can exist in this case, and neither the Jury nor the Court can know the nature of the libel till it be read. You may put it to the


prosecutors whether they will present the question to this Jury, or not; but no Jury who has any sense of religion or morality can doubt as to this libel. The Jury cannot have conceived any personal prejudice against the person accused, and there is no cause of challenge shown.

Mr. Hill.-My Lord, I don't put it in the way of challenge.
Common Sergeant.-No, you do not.

Mr. Adolphus.--My learned friend must not protest; it is only a few days ago that Mr. Scarlett was directed by the Lord Chief Justice not to protest, but to argue. I should think it just as reasonable to protest against every Alderman on the bench, and your Lordship, as to protest against that Jury. If there could be any supposed bias as to a matter of fact, the Jury would not take the oath feeling such a bias upon their minds. My personal feelings go entirely with what your Lordship has said; as the law enables a Jury to judge for themselves in such a case without allowing any body to instruct them how to uphold their privilege. This course has been pursued for the last twenty-five or twenty-six years, and I see no reason upon this occasion to alter the accustomed course of our proceedings.

Common Sergeant.-Certainly not: there has been too much of such objections already. Swear the Jury.

Mr. Hill.-I humbly pray that the question may be put to the Jury, whether they have or have not any bias or prejudice upon the subject matter of this indictment.

Common Sergeant.I shall not do so; and you know very well that it is a question that cannot be asked.

The Jury having been sworn-the indictment was read by the clerk of the arraigns.

The indictment charged, 'That John Barkley on a certain day therein mentioned, published a wicked, seditious, disloyal, blasphemous and profane libel.

Mr. Adolphus.-May it please your Lordship, Gentlemen of the Jury:-Thatthis is the same Court, and that you are the same Jury, who on Friday last tried another defendant for publishing the libel which is the subject of this indictment, I congratulate myself; for I am sure that if any thing which then produced your decision could be in the slightest degree doubtful in this case; if you are now convinced that your verdict in the former case was founded upon grounds that ought not to have led to such a conclusion; if any alteration has taken place in your sentiments upon the facts which were then laid before you, I am convinced that your own honour, equity and conscience, upon your oaths, will give those circumstances their due and sufficient weight; and therefore the present Defendant has rather an advantage in being tried by the same Jury who tried a similar question before, as your judgement cannot be oppressed or enthralled by authority, but you come more instructed, and with a better consideration of the matter, than before; and therefore if there be any turn in the scale in his fabe said,

Tour, he will have the advantage of it, from whatever circumstance it may ariser For the same reason I shall not, as upon Friday last, go through all the matter of this libel, but will leave it entirely to you to form your own conclusion respecting it; and if they on the other side can adduce any thing by which the opinion you have already given on this libel can be altered, they will have an opportunity of doing so. I will not repeat that which I formerly said, as it must be still fresh in your recollection, and what I then said has since been confirmed by the elo. quent summing up of the Judge who tried that question. The learned Judge in the former case gave you the history of the law of libel from the earliest times to the present, informed you of the opinion which Judges had declared, and informed you of every thing which it was material for you to know upon the subject. As to the question of libel, he left it to you, as the statute of the 32nd of George III. allows the Judge to do,—he left to you the consideration of the law as well as the facts, and concluded by asking you to give your verdict according to your conviction upon the subject; and it will be for you now to consider whether that conviction can be shaken by any thing that you may hear to-night. There is only one matter which may be adduced upon this occasion, and has been adduced in other places, which is this, That the religion of the country does not stand in any need of prosecution to sustain it. Most true is that assertion, but most false the inference: of the religion of the country it

may in the words of its founder, that “ the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” It is not necessary to uphold it by persecution; but it is necessary to restrain those who attempt to destroy it from substi. tating railing for argument, or invective for reasoning; and from ad dressing themselves to the passions of that class of persons who cannot meet them with the pen in such a contest. As long as justice and reason can maintain their power among us, it is the duty of those who wish to support the constitution to prevent the poorest person that Jives, and who cannot read, from having his religious ideas perverted in this world, or from being led to perdition in the next, by the dissemination of those dangerous doctrines which of late have been circulated. It is not necessary, when we speak of blasphemy, or sedition, to appreciate the mischief they create by the effects they may have upon that structure which cannot be overthrown; but it is our duty to take care that no one shall be perverted, that no one by those doctrines shall reject his baptism, abandon the sacraments, or be himself induced to revile the sacred scriptures by any thing that can be published to the world. It is with these few observations, that I shall close what I have to say upon this part of the subject.

Gentlemen, the Defendant in this indictment will be proved to you to have assisted in Carlile's shop in the sale of this pamphlet, which was read I believe no less than five times to you upon the former occasion; it was posted up by placards in the shop-windows that that place was the “ Mart for blasphemy and sedition;" and it was there

that this person was taken' up. When he sold the pamphtet in ques-
tion, the purchaser asked him his name, but he refused to tell it; when
he was told that a warrant was out against him, he afterwards went
away in order to shun it, but he returned again to the same occupa-
tion, such was his zeal in the cause! But he did not disclose his name
till he came into the presence of the Lord Mayor, and then he disclosed"
it only because he thought he was obliged to do so. It is for you,
gentlemen, to say whether he be guilty or not of what is charged in
this indictment, and then it is for the Court to award the proper pu-
nishment. Such a course of proceeding, undertaken and conducted
with so much pertinacity, can leave no doubt that there was some-
thing more behind the curtain than the mere profit that could come to
him from his employers in the sale of such productions. You will be
convinced with me that there was something more at bottom, and that
it proceeds from malice and a deep-rooted system of attack against
the ruling authorities, that prompts the sale of such pamphlets as these.
It is for you to say whether the passages in this pamphlet, as charged
in the indictment, are libels or not, and whether you can see any rea-
son to change that opinion which you have already given upon it,
and which I believe would be the opinion of all mankind when they.
read this publication; some may think that they ought to be 'pub-
lished whether they be libels or not; some may think it is better they
should not be suppressed. Although there may be various reasons for
attempting to suppress such prosecutions, yet there can be but one
opinion upon the great question which you are to try, namely, Whether.-
these things defame the sovereign, undermine and set at defiance the
law, and blaspheme the religion of the country? There can, I think, be
but one opinion that such productions proceed more from the fiends of
hell, than the spirit of heaven. Whether those passages of this pub-
lication which will be read to you be libels upon those subjects which
I have stated, I am confident there can be but one single opinion
throughout the world. I will now proceed to call witnesses to show
that this Defendant was the means of publishing the pamphlet in ques-

Mr. William Payne sworn (examined by Mr. Adolphus).
Q. You are Clerk at the Justice Room at Guildhall ?-A. I am.

Q. Do you produce the pamphlet lodged at the Office at Guildhall upon the indictment against the Defendant John Barkley ? --- . A. Yes.

Q. How was he designated when the warrant was applied for? A. I have the warrant which was granted on the information sworn to by a person of the name of John Purton, upon the 21st of December, before Mr. Alderman Thompson. (The witness here read the warrant.)

Q. Were you present when this person was brought to the Office at Guildhall ?--A. I was.

Q. Did he then give you a name?-A. Yes, he did; I made a memo." randum of all that passed. First of all he was asked, whether he would choose to give his name, and he did give it, and I thought not

« AnteriorContinuar »