Слике страница

before their reprefentatives, whose wildom would correct the crude ideas of the multitude.

Mr. Tooke was all this time engaged in a course of study, the refult of which would be of lafting benefit to his country. His learning and abilities fully qualified him to inftruct his countrymen, and he had paid no less than 1ool. for packs of cards, by which he could better methodize the inftructions he meant to convey. That, in the midst of thefe ftudies and refearches, he fhould be all the time plotting treafon against the government, would exceed the extravagance of what may be read in the Arabian Nights, or the Tales

of the Fairies.

But though Mr. Tooke, by his abfence from the meeting, might well defend himfelf from any part in fending delegates to the convention, he did not wish to ava himself of that advantage, as there were others who had not the fame excufe to offer; and that the delegation was an act lawful and conftitutional. For this reafon he inftructed him, as his counfel and reprefentative, to defend this major as well as the minor of the accufation.

Some of the members of the Scotch convention were afterwards profecuted, but not for high treafon; their offence was confidered only as a misdemeanor. The go vernment then knew every thing of which they were fince informed. They had fpies upon every man's conduct, and in every man's house. Nothing could have efcaped them; and yet why did they let fuch a length of time elapfe before they profecuted? He would not accufe them of laying fnares for innocent blood. He rather fuppofed the fit of alarm came fuddenly on them, and they now ftood forward to charge that as high treafon, conftructively, which was only a misdemeanor in the acting p rties. The convictions

which he, with many others, were of opinion to be illegal.

Here, Mr. Fielding made fome remark across the table, upon which, Mr. Erfkine faid, he wifhed not to be corrected by him.

The lord prefident also confidered the language as improper.

Mr. Erfkine contended that he was ftrictly right in saying, that the legality of thefe convictions had been queftioned in parliament by many of its ableft members, and may be queftioned again. They of courfe may be faid to have given offence to the country: whatever might have been charged on thofe convicts, against the authority of the judges in Scotland, had no application here. To kill a judge in the execution of his office, was high treafon, by the ftatute of Edw. III. in England; but the law was not fo in Scotland. But to conftitute the treason, the judge must be actually killed: for confpiring to kill him was not treafon at all.

Another charge against his client, was the fanctioning the refolutions, ftating, that Law ceafes to be an object of obedience when it becomes the inftrument of oppreffion:" and alf a refolution, glancing at the character of Jefferies. He would fay nothing of the application of the character of judge Jefferies in this inftance; but would exprefs his individual opinion, that parliament would act wifely if it inftituted anniverfaries to remind us of bafe as well as glorious actions. While fome ftimulated our emulation of the virtues by which fome men diftinguished themselves above their cotemporaries, others fhould be held out to our execration, and expofe vile and fcandalous actions to eternal infamy. They should fhew us how to eftimate the value of immortal good fame over the transitory enjoyments which lucre may procure us.

Mr. Tooke, fo far from fanctionthe violent refolutions of the meeting,

land had given great off、nce,ing

meeting, refused to keep the chair, when he found them determined to propofe them; and this, if neceffary, he would prove, by the evidence of the gentleman who took the chair after him. How hard was it then, that every man's abfurdity fhould be charged as criminal in him!

The addrefs of the London correfponding fociety, of the 24th of March 1794, fubjoined to which the fociety ordered that his majefty's fpeech fhould be printed, he maintained to be no treasonable act. The words "honourable" and "faithful" being left out, as well as the other alterations and amendments which appeared in the books, were equally frivolous. Among Among the many acquirements of Mr. Tooke, it was not the leaft eminent, that he was not to be excelled in the

Meffrs. Tooke, Joyce, Bonney, Pearfon, and Moore, were nomi

powers of language. When, there-nated by the other. Mr. Tooke faid, fore, he spoke of the reprefentation "Don't appoint me as one of the of the people in parliament, it was committee." You may ask why he plain that a man of his knowledge fuffered his name to remain among could not have meant the king; no them? He answered, Because I did one knew better than Mr. Tooke, not think their acts criminal.-But that the king was no reprefenta-yet he did not choose to attend nor tive. to approve.

In making the prefent defence, he obferved, that the intellect was not much upon the ftretch; but fearful that his animal ftrength might fail him, he had copied out the opinions of the judges Hale and Fofter, on the law of treafons, as far as they applied to this cafe. Hale fays, that if a man confpires to imprison the king, or oblige him, by force, to perform any action, that shall be conftrued into a defign of compaffing his death, as in the eafe of lord Cobham.

the heart; but the crime is in the intention, and not in the overt aft. In the cafe of Mr. Tooke, where was the proof of the intention? And what was the overt act? What was the force, and when, and where was it levied ?

The fifth overt act ftated against the prifoner was, that he, with Bonney, Thelwall, Lovatt, Baxter, and others, was appointed on the committee of co-operation and correfpondence between the two focieties. Admitting this to be true, where was the treafon? The focieties appeared to have no treasonable objects; nor could the deputies on this committee be fuppofed to have a different object from those by whom they were deputed.

But here the expreffion laboured in the ear. For, in order to prevent his meaning being mifunderftood, he guardedly oblerves, that though the overt act goes to prove the defign, the crime is not in the /overt act but in the intention. Fofter alfo defines the overt act to be the means to effectuate the intention of

Mr. Erfkine faid, he would not have called a witness if it depended upon him, although he fhould call many to repel the evidence of the crown. The infamous fpies, and the weapons have been withdrawn, and I trust in God we shall hear no more of them.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

what the king upon his throne might have learned. Mr. Lovatt will tell you, that, in his idea, no measure could fo confirm the power of the monarch, as thofe reforms of abuses by which empires are crumbled into duft, and every defcription of just authority annihilated.

On the 11th, the report was made by the delegates, and Mr. Tooke's name ftands in the committee of cooperation, as it had not been expunged from that of conference. Mr. Adams has told you, that he never heard of his name therein, until it was read out of the book. Mr. Erskine then fhewed, that when the declaration was made of what was intended to be done, it turned out only to be the obtainment of the reform in parliament. They fay it was defirable to confider how this fhould be accomplished. Does the attorney general mean to ftate that the meeting of thefe delegates for fuch purposes is an act of treafor, where not a word of arms or force is heard of?

The cloud of witneffes brought forward, touching thefe arms, has been fo little fatisfactory, that it has been difpelled by the crown, and all the parole evidence meant to crush poor Hardy is heard of no more! To put up fpies again as evidence, would be only to fend you "Raggamuffins to be peppered."

They have brought nothing but papers, which I would engage to parallel from the newspapers of one weck.

But we now come to the finale of this bufinefs, when it was determined to meet on Mondays and Thurfdays. Then there was a meeting at Chalk Farm, and let it be remembered, that Mr. Lovatt, whom the accufing jury have refufed to find criminal, was the chairman there, and Mr. Tooke never prefent; and yet the refolutions there are hurled pon the gentleman at your bar

Then on the 28th, three weeks af ter the first appointment, the comimittee met, talked of the news, took fnuff, and returned to their homes.

On May the ft and 5th they met again, and nothing done; on the 8th, nothing done. On the 12th it was faid that Mr. Hardy was taken from out of his bed, he whom I will call as a witnefs upon the trials that are to follow; he had no more idea of treafon than Mr. Tooke or any other gentle


A letter is put in the green box, ftating that Hardy is taken up, and his papers feized-O! but you have heard much refpecting a red bookThis was to ftate all the places and penfions that Mr. Pitt has obtained for his family, and Mr. Joyce withed it to be done on the Thursday: Mr. Tooke wanted more time.

A fpy was prefent, who came there to make difcoveries: he found that a Mr. Gay had written upon a ftone, on which walking Stuart had infcribed, "this is the end of the world," this is the "beginning of the world ;" and I make no doubt, that if the green box could be fearched, I'fhould find this anecdote

at the bottom of it.

Mr. Burke faid, " every victoryTM in America was a blow upon my heart, I have not learned to rejoice in finding Fort Niphauffen the centre of the British dominions," &c.

This is a period, when we should be firmly united and intwisted together; when new perils arife every day, let the innocent man be allowed to fay, fuch is the ftatute of treafon by which you will judge me. This is not England, when the court has been obliged to take fo much upon them. One trembles with horror at the deftruction and dubiety of the cafe.-Shox me any one page wherein I may find this crime.

I have here a work of my client's, which, perhaps, his lordship may permit

[ocr errors]

permit me to read-It is a letter of pofition, the acts themfelves; though
Mr. Tooke to the late lord Afh-without his privity or confent done
burton, the celebrated Mr. Dun- by others.

[Mr. Gibbs relieved his learned friend by reading the extracts, which clearly demonitrate the conftitutional fentiments of Mr. Tooke upon the subject of a parliamentary reform.]

Gentlemen of the jury, I addrefs you with the utmost pain, and with flender preparation-I came into court this day in an exhausted state. From the fatigues of a long and intricate trial, we have had no relief--we have laboured in the courfe of common business in the other courts,

I declare to you folemnly, my heart was never fo deeply interefted in any cause. I have not been able to do juftice to my wifhe's, but I have the fulleft confidence in your judg. meat and integrity. I have employed no elocution to perfuade you, and I muft again implore that Great Power, whofe goodness can illumine your minds, to fill them with difcernment, and to direct your decifion.

and then again are called to defend To the EDITOR of the LADY'S


a gentlema who has been implicat-
ed in a general charge of high trea-
fon. What far exceeds my whole
abilities exerted through this day,
the grafp of his mind has collected
into a few pages-the fentiments of
this gentleman upon the queftion of
reform have been read to you. They
have been the principles of his con-
duct through life. I will fhew him
to you by the evidence of gentle-
men, highly refpectable, from year
to year.

In the mafs of papers brought forward, I call upon Mr. Attorney general, to ftate any one piece of evidence on which he can ground this charge of treafon. He can point to no one; and yet; on this chaos of incomprehenfible trafh, a jury of twelve upright men is called upon to shed his blood.


"Le moment où je parle eft deja loin de moi.'


HE of time, and

the wonderful changes it produces, have been the conftant theme of philofophers and moralifts in all ages. Perpetual motion and inceffant change are the grand principles of the world, and of all human affairs. We ourfelves are fubject to continual viciffitude. Our pursuits, our inclinations, and our opinions, are fo different from year to year, and from day to day, that the queftion, how far we can be faid to be the fame perfons, is too difficult to be accurately refolved by our imperfect philofophy.

Gentlemen, I cannot conclude without faying, that the conduct of my client has merited your highest refpect and honour. I could have made for him a far different defence; I could have fecurely led his veffel into the harbour of peace, and left his fellow navigators to all the fury of the tempeft-but his manly and generous mind difdained it. He charged me, therefore, with the de

fence of the major part of the pro-time" unexpectedly tramples down


Nor does this law of continual change act on individuals alone; empires and ftates, and the general characters of great nations, are equally governed by it. Pofitions which the hiftorian or the politician had advanced as inconteftable and undoubted, fuddenly become as felf-evidently erroneous, and "th' inaudible and noiseless foot of

the mol ingenious theories, and fyftems the molt generally received. I have been led into thefe reflections by a paffage in one of the effays of the celebrated and elegant Mr. Knox, written only a few years ago. It is as follows:

"The want of a liberal and manly education will render us unable to perceive the value of liberty. It will also prevent the acquifition of that dignity and authority of mind which alone can make a fuccessful fland against the encroachments of power. Ignorance is mean, and cannot offer those generous facrifices which our duty to our country demands, when its liberties are endangered. A mind deftitute of a proper education will be eafi'y deluded by the fophiftical arguments of thofe, who, to ferve felish purpofes, are ready to explain away every dear-bought privilege, with a view to make converts to doctrines detrimental to the rights of mankind. And with respect to those who are educated indeed, but educated in the manners and fentiments of a boftile country, though they may be defcended from Tudors and Plantagenets, yet their hearts are not English. They confider all our virtues, and all our religious fcruples as infular prejudices; and if Eglishmen were to permit them to

and fhew that they think the world was made for dukes, marquifes, lords and counts to take their paltime in; and that, fuch canaille as the body of English freeholders are only fit to be cuifiniers or perruquiers to decorate their apifh perfons, and tickle their vitiated palates."

no longer fear from the adoption of fuch fentiments, the eftablishment of arbitrary power, with its long and luxurious appendage of aristocratic titles, privileges, and oppreffion; but we dread the fubverfion of all due authority, the extinction of all order. We fear the canaille, the multitude, a clafs of fociety not to be defpifed, but honoured; not to be trampled on, but to be loved, inftructed and reformed; we fear the multitude fhould affume a power it has not knowledge to wield, and deftroy what it may attempt to amend.

A few years only have rendered it neceffary that we should be extremely cautious how we too hastily imbibe the manners and fentiments of fame hottile nation, from a trically the reverfe. We

[ocr errors]

The most obvious and the moft beneficial reflection we can make on the mutations produced by time in every thing human, is that humility and not pride was made for man, that we are but of yesterday and know nothing, that we flee like hadows and continue not. Yours, &c.


Ipfwick, Nov. 27, 1794.

(Continued from p. 572.)



would ellablish a Grand Monarque, Pare office, leave the harem


early in the morning, and, two hours after noon excepted, pass moft of their time in the outer apartments. But others who have little bufinefs, and the luxurious young men of all denominations, lounge, many hours in their harem. Some allowance in this refpect is made to youth, for fome weeks after marriage; but an effeminate character, which is by no means refpectable among the men, is far from being The acceptable to the women, prefence of the men at unusual hours in the day-time lays the whole

« ПретходнаНастави »