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wavering the conduct of jurors in general ; “.taken up, and carried before a magistrate. to wear away those notions relative to “ But here, (supposing the account pubevidence and law, which ought ever to re- “ lished to be correct) we never once see main indelibly imprinted on the mind of “ the civil laws, or the magistrate or the civil the juror ; to put nen of small capacity officers - we see nothing but the military. and little knowledge up with the idea, that “ If an editor of a paper, or the author or they are judges in equity ;. to make a jury publisher of any work, may be laid hold a mere instrument, the sport, the play-thing, " of by the military, the freedoin of the of hired advocates ; to expose property, press wonld be merely nominal-stat no. character, and life, to the effect of circum- “ minis umbra - the parent and the child of stances not at all under the controul of the “ liberty would be destroyed, and that great possessor ; and, to convert the whole society weapon, which has assisted so materially into dependents, into very slaves, of the in establishing the freedom of Great professors of the law.

“ Britain, and which is assisting so powerLIBEL LAWS. Before I proceed to fully in the rescue of Spain and Portugal, make some further remarks upon this sub- “ would be no longer formidable. Let us ject, in continuation of what was said last

take care to prevent any

encroachment up. week, I think it proper 10 quote, from the on the liberty of the press. The first step Courier news paper, an article relating to against it that is taken with impunity is the way in which libellers are handled in " the first step towards slavery."- -So, Ireland. It is as follows : “ In the Dublin this gentleman of the Courier is for more

paper, which we received a day or two ago, luw! The poor printer was seized hold of,

the public, premising that we know nothing or information, it seems. Every one to his • ourselves of the circumstances there taste! “ Let us take care to prevent any en“stated. We take the account as it has been “ croachment upon the liberty of the press!"

published in the Dublin papers; - The These are bold, or rather, big, words; but, is editor of a paper printed in Kerry, cal- how will you take care of it? and what have “ led the Kerry Dispatch, asserts that you ever done to assert that liberty? I never

while inoffensively walking the street, remember any thing, in this way, done by “ he was called off by a common serjeant, you ; but, I well remember your taking in“ and, after being assailed with most tinite pains to furnish a before-hand justin

opprobrious language, and the most cation for an internal act of oppression which " " criminal imputations, was made a pri- you strongly recommended to the atiorney.

sover, and paraded under a military general ; namely, the prosecution of the author

escort through a crowd of at least one who wrote an essay, published in the Morn“ thousand people! He was proclaimed ing Herald, upon the Potsılaın oath of famous

through that crowd as a public disturber memory. This I remember, and I do as“ of the peace, as a fomentor of White

sure you, that I think your conduct towards boyism, and a leader of Whiteboys!' that author was much worse than that of the ““ Thisconduct towards him the editor at- soldiers towards our Irish brother of the “ tributes to a paragraph in his paper of the press.-A correspondent, whose letter “ 5th inst, under the head of Anniversary will be found below, has given me an expla

Display of Orange Colours."--The pa. ration of the principles, upon which the ragraph to which it alludes, we never saw, charges, in case of libel, proceed. I was

do we recollect ever to have seen the quite aware, that, in a civil action, the truth paper in which he was published. But it of the assertions published might be proved, is not necessary either to have seen the and that a justification might be set up on that paper or the paragraph to be able to pro- ground. I thank him for his information nounce a most decisive opinion with res- respecting Sir Fletcher Norton; but, I be. pect to the transaction in question. It re- lieve, that he will find, thai the example,

quires the most serious investigation. contrary to his wish, has been followed. This What! when Kerry is not a proclaimed | is, however, of littie importance, as long as

district, and martial law consequently does the jury aretold, that, though the charge (the “ not operate in it, is tlie subject to be seized truth of which they are sworn to decide upon) " and made prisoner by a military escort? alledges the words called a libel to be false,

Supposing even the Kerry editor to have they are, nevertheless, in certain cases, to “ been guilty of the greatest offence in his find the charge true, even if the words called

paper, still there were civil law's by which a libel are not proved to be false, and ever " he might have been punished, and civil if the defendant is refused permission :0 “ officers by whom he might have been prove them to be true. As long as this is tue


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case, it matters little, indeed it matters pot


time to ruminate on the 'lessings of that at all, whether the indictment charges the freedom, which coines from e use of the supposed libeller with falsehood or not. This press. -To drag in libels amu. t breaches I knew very well ; but, I referred to the of the peace is an ingenious devi of law. language of indictments to shew, that, fi yers. They tend to a breach of thitace, merly, falsehood was essential, as the ground and are, therefore, criminal," whether . work of a charge of libel ; and that, of course, contain truth or falsehood. But, how could the charge fell to the ground, if the delen. Mr. Peltier's libel upon Buonaparté possibly dant proved the truth of whiat he had said or produce a breach of the peace in England ? published. Had not this been the law, aud the Yet was Mr. Peltier convicted by a jury, in actual practice, at the time when indictments the court of King's-Bench.- -Well, but for libel, in the present forın, were first prefer- how will this square with the notions of the red, the word false would not have been insert- Courier, in the case above supposed? The ed in them. If the law had been content with writer, whom we bave supposed to exist at scandalous and malicious, it would bave said a moment when an absolute despotism is nothing about falsehood. But, the fact is, I about to be begun, publishes his sentiments believe, that, until of late years (wiihin respecting the minister who is at the bottom fifty), no one ever dreamt of maintaining a of the scheme. This must necessarily highcharge of libel, but upon the ground of ly provoke such minister, and, according to falsehood. To promulgate truth never was, the maxins now received, must as necessaformerly, held, by the law, to be a crime. rily tend to a breach of the peace. ConseTyrants frequently punished men for speak. quently, the writer goes to jail, and there ing or writing the truth, and they had the end the powers of the press in protecting ready aid of their courts and juries. But, freedom.-- This doctrine of libels is, to then, these were, at the time, regarded as be sure, the most whimsical thing that ever acts of tyranny; as such, they excited ha- was heard of in the whole world. The rea. tred, and in the end, brought, in one way son for punishing libels criminally, is, that or another, their proper punishment. Since they tend to a breach of the peace ; so, the the time of Lord Mansfield, inclusive, to prosecutor comes and puts you in jail, Jest promulgate truth is coolly and gravely laid he himself should be provoked to break the down to be criminal. It is become a settled peace by beating you, or shooting at you ! maxim, that falsehood is not an essential If your libel be upon the ministers, supposquality in the crime of libel; that every ing you to speak the truth; that is to say, word of a publication may be true; that all if


fault with the servants of its sentiments may be in strict unison with the pubiic, you are liable, according to morality and religion ; and yet, that it may this doctrine, to be put in jail, or to have be a libel, punishable by five, imprisonment, your ears cropped off, for having, by truly pillory, and, if Lord Grenville's art be not stating their faults to these whom you help repealed, by transportation, for the second to pay, provoked them to commit a breach offence. Where, then, is the standard ? of the peace upon your body! Good lord ! Who is to know how far to go; for how is this the sort of liberty of the press, can he tell what a jury will think scandalous which Junius, whom every body but me 2nd malicious, and what they will think not reads, calls the “ Palladium of free-men"? to possess those qualities? In what way is Is this the thing, which the Courier relies that freedom (of which the Courier talks so upon for the maintenance of freedom? Is glibly as owing its birth to the press) to be it this, to “

prevent any encroachment" assisted by the press ? Let us try it a little : upon which he so earnestly calls upon us? suppose there to be a king upon the throne, - The plain truth is, that, except in matwho is bent upon establishing despotic sway, ters of little public importance, we dare not aid that, aided by ministers who are of the plainly state in print, any truth that is unsame disposition with himself, he sets about paiatable. There is ONE SUBJECT, which, the work without any disguise. A writer at this moment, engages the attention of calls upon his countrymen to be upon their every man, who is conversant in public af. guard, and gives a true description of the fairs, or, in the slightest degree, accustomed several despotic acts which the supposed king to turn his thoughts that way. Amongst all and his abertors have been guilty of. The men of all parties there is but one opinion writer is indicted for the offence; he is not upon this subject. The nation has an allowed to prove his innocence by proving unanimous wish; and feels the greatest the truth of what he has written ; and, if alarm, lest that wish should be set at the matters published be thought by the jury nought. Almost every public print in to be scandalous and malicious, slap goes the country has, after the Eastern manner, the writer to jail, where he has plenty of hinted its feelings and supplications, by way

find just

That case,

an Un

of supposition, or by way of fable; but, shall have no liope from a short contest. In there is no one that has dured to say what it

the Bourbons would merely thinks, though its thonghts are those of triumph over the Buonapartés, which would fourteen niillions of people; and, what is be of no service whatever to us, or to ary more, there will not be one of these prints part of the world,

Joseph Buonaparte and that will dare to ascribe the cularities and The Grandees have, it seems, gotten to digrice, which will inevitably follow the Madrid wisbout the least interruprion, and, contempt of this national prayer, to the I must say, that I look upon that as rigni cause; bot, every one will again have favourable symptom ; fcr, in the first place, recourse to hints and a usiasis and tables, or,

be would not have gone without a considernot being bold enough for that, will hold its able army, if the country had been in a peace.--

Reader, is not this the real state state of general insurrection; and, in the of the press .com I hold in my opinion, that next place, it was of vast importance to the noihing ought to be deemed libeilous which patriots to intercept his march. If you look is not faise as well as malicious. If a man at the map, you will perceive, that, with be a coward or a fool, he ought to be known a mere military escort, he has gone from the for such, If he be an adulterer or a rogue, frontiers to the centre of Spain. This why should he not be called an adulterer, or could not have been, if the accounts we ar gue? Why should not men be known sometime ago received had been true. If for what they are ? If the perso described there had been, as was stzied, 100,000 men be an obscure individual, wliy, the exposure in arms in Arragon, is it probable, that the of him will reach but a small distance; and, new king, under an escort, would have if he be in a public capacity, the exposure qurtly passed along the skirts of that proought to reach far and wide. Only make vince? No ; and his reception upon the the publisher prove the truth of all his cen- road as well as at Madrid, clearly shows, I sorious words, and, I'll warrant that he think, that, besides the rascally notility, takes care what he states. But, while

he has a very powerful party in the kingtruth as well as falschood may be punished as dum, and which party, if the contest te a libel, writers will naturally endeavour, by letween him and the old rotten despotism, insinuations, to obtain vengeance for the will, in niy opinion, daily increase. restrictions, under which they labour, and Botley, August 5, 1809. which are a continual thorn in their side.

LETTER FROM SIR RICHARD Phillips, " I retainer from speaking even good words, though it was pain and grief to


Hood. me.” We all wish to speak our minds

Sir ;-The licentiousness of the tongue at It is the great mark of distinction between slares and freemen, that the latter dare ulter

the Bar, is so justly appreciated by the sen

sible part of the public, that it ought not to their sentiments, when the former dare not. SPANIS!! REVOLUTION.- IVe hive, I

exciie any other emotion ihan contempt. in

him who at any time is the object of it. If in perceive, got on our site ALI MAHOMET, who, 10 show that he knows ali," calls

consequence of a signal instance of that the French arro, encourges the Spaniards

licentiousness during a late Trial, I am in. to cut their 1650.ts, and to make them

duced to take up my pen, I am actualed speak like pigs under the bands of the solely by a respect for your numerous intelbutober. What rare company we are got

ligent readers, to whom you have favoured into at list! Well may it be said, that mi

me with the honour of an introduction. sery brings a mi acquainted with strange

You must be too well acquainted with the bed leiluits. W are tigbling, for liberty

artifices practised by anonymous writers, to aided by the pious prayers of Ali Mahoner.

be surprized at learning, that the report of

the late Trial between Carr and Hood, i bave often 23.61, that Sir Balanı, in order to keep of Bom parce, would, it bard push

copied from a Newspaper into your last Reed, make a league with the devil; and,

gister, was written by the very person whose really, there seexio be dit one more step

pamphlet bad been the object of that Trial! to take. The Curier cutis Ali's a “very

Hence you may readily account for the in

consistencies of which the plaintiff and his spurile priclanation!" Whül a sbavje, to conter words et approbation upon any

Witnesses are by this reporter made guilty! tirilg so bloovly and impions! ----I am great

The words of every idle question of the jy atraid, that it is mierleciing rage ainst

Attorney General, are in this report gravels Napoleon is activing us all its while

ascribed to me as the words of my Answers, The geti's Iron

he good.

and I am thus absurdly made to condemn all Ticie is a time

Ag con

anonymous publication ; vaunt my own test, such as

Flive. I * The absurdity of this statement is ap.

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virtues ; praise the purity of my own Books; 1..ctured as they generally are under le and say other childish things wbich! neither direciion of some interested Publisher ; but said nor thought, and which in justice I beg I must be allowed not to surrender my judgleave to refer back to their real author! in

ment of literary productions to criiics, who deed, the learning of the Bar on this occasion, come before me in so questionsble a shape. shone RESPLENDNTLY, and we had per- He would trulyber the greaiest foolibat ever petual references made to high sounding trod the earth,” who should submit bis opiworks which never existed, such as Milton's nions to such influence. * Availing themselves answer to Sir Robert Filmer, Aristoile's in. of their , oncealisert, it is well known to those şver to the works of Socrates, and Sir Isanc who have beentebindthescenes during the getNewton's Controversy wiin D:scartes ! ting up of an anonymous jeview, that books

Besides making the preceding general ex. are commonly reviewed by authors them. planation, I have to remark on one point of selves by rival anchors in the same branch jour own observations. Y. Ju have obviously ! of literature ---by the personal enemy of an confounded two very different works, when anthor-or by the most corrupt and ignorant you characterize as FALSE and SCANDALOUS a scribblers. + Publication of mine (many years olit of | Attaching therefore no credit 10 such wriprint) entitled ". Anecdotes of the Founders tings, is it to be wondered, that I do not

of the French Republic.” This book was waste any time in reading reviews ? published in 1797, and consisted of a grave, i And convinced as I ain, that the abuse of claronological account of the persons con- the critical art, arising out of the concealcerned in the then recent vients in France. ment of the critics, has discouraged and I:s alledged faults, were that of praising blighted the genins of the country, batlled many persons, who, it since appears, were the cause of truth and obstructed the prounworthy of praise, and of omiiting 10 abuse greis of science, is it to be wondered ibat chers who were then obnoxious in ihis coud when questioned on this subject, I entered try. You, with others, buive obviously confunded this work wiili one of very differe: t in These words and the alternative, that character on the same subject, published wabin These two or three years by other

I haal " slipped in my testimony," were booksellers, written by Stewarton, a French

ertravagan:ly applied to me by the Attorney. emigrant, and called the Rerolutionary Plu

General, for declaring thit I did not read, 19704. This work was unquestionably a

and did not respect the opinions of an anodigrace to the press and character of the

nemolis reviewer, and conequently was not

influenced in mr negociarious with an auCountry, and it deserves the epithets with which you have inadvertently branded mine.

hor, by the character of his works given

in the reviews, I bite no doubt that pub. I am not disposed to enter the lists with you

lishers in general enic riain an equal coras a controversialist, but with respect to THE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, I am persuaded we

temp of anonymous opinions of books, and shall not ultimately disagree. I am a friend opinion on the subject, among the intelligent

I conceive there exisis little difference of to criticism, and to the unrestrained publication of it, but I do not ander the same

pult of the public.--Every nun of letters, degree of authority to the uritings of every

and every person acquainted with the details

of literature, will thank me for thus exposman who sets' up for a Critic. He who avows his criticisms, and who is eonse- ! disgraceful and as pernicious as close of ad

ing a craft, the practices of which are as quently known to be, in other respects, a vertising money lenders. The craft may man of integrity and learning, obtains with me a very different degree of credit from an

furiously assail ine in reiurn, but the cause I advocate, is THE

OF TRUTH, anonymous trader in criucism who writes in a Periodical Review, at a given price by the

SCIENCE, AND LITERATURE! sheet! Still, I do not object in the free

† This is noi a personal question, and

Therefore it is o publication erea of such criticisms, manu

no consequence to its meriis that I was myself concerned for about four

teen months, as a proprietor of ihe Oxford preot; every bookseller is constantly in the heview. Nothing however is conceded ly practice of publishing unexceptionable anony- the admission, because the Oxford Review mous works; but there is a wide difference was EXPRESSLY and AVOWEDLY in terms set beiween anonymous invective, or abuse di- up as AN EXPERIMENT, to try whether a rerecied against an author or his writings view ou totally opposite principles to those which CALLS FOR RESPONSIBILITY, and an then in existence would succeerd; and it failed, anonymous statement of scientific or bistori- owing to its want of that severity of persecal facts, or an anonymous discussion of ab- nal attack which it appears is a principal re. stract principles.

commendation of anonginous criticism.




my protest against so mischievous an usurpa- felt by a guilty man upon reading a true tion, in maiters of taste and literature ? charge made against him in a libel, or, ta

In justice to the respectable character and ther, in a printed paper,” but “tbat ic honourable views of Sir John CARR, I was more likely to produce a breach of the feel it incumbent on me to explain, that he peace ;" the tendency to which mischievous did not found his late action on the pretended consequence, is the whole and only founcriticisms in the pamphlet of which be dation of the jurisdiction of the court of complained, but solely and EXCLUSIVELY King's-Bench to take cognizance of any on the caricatures which had been introduced published writing, whether true or false ; it into it, and which it must be universally al-being the constant and indispensable co?) lowed are NOVEL and not VERY LEGITI- clusion of every indictment and information MATE AL'XILIARIES of GENUINE CRITICISM. in the court of King's Bench and in all of her I am, Sir, yours, &c.

criminal courts, that the action charged to

R. PHILLIPS. be done by the accused party is against the Bridge Street, Aug. 4, 1808.

pence of our soverrign lord the king, his crown and digniiy. And lord Mansfield

thought that an innocent man was SIR, -11 reading your remarks upon the likely to revenge, by a duel or some other late trial of the action of sir John Carr act of violence, a fal e charge made against againsi Ilood and Sharpe, booksellers in the him in a published paper than a man who Poultry, for publishing a book under the title was conscious but the charge was true, and of “ My Porket book," which is charged would therefore become only more known to be a libel upon the plaintitt'sir John Cair, to the public, and consequently more deby which his pecuniary interest, as a writer trimental to his interest and reputation, by and seller of books to book ellers, is in- any attempts he should make to resent the jured, and he is therefore intitled to a com- publication of it. However, I believe you pensation from the detendants for the da

are warranted in asserting that even in ininage he has thereby sustained, you appear dictments and informations for libels it was to me not to have been apprized of the dise formerly the practice to alledge that the tinction made in our courts of justice be- libels were false, as well as scandalous and iween those civil actions for libels in which malicious : and I have been informed that the plaintiff

' seeks for a compensation for the the first attorney-genaral who ventured to injury or damage he has received from the have out the word false in an information libel, and the criminal proceedings in the for a libel was the late sir Fletcher Norton, court of King's Bench, or some other court about the year 1761. But, whether his of criminal judicature, carried on in the successors in that ctlice have followed liis king's name either by an indictment of a example and onitted the word false in the grand jury, or by an information in the court informations for libels which they have of" King's-Bench by the attorney-general, or thought fit to bring, or not, I do not know : by the master of he crown-ottice, (who is al- but it may, perhaps, be worth while to insocalled the clerk of the crown in the King's- quire. I must own that I wish they may Bench,) after a permission given him by the not have followed bis example, but may judges of the court to file, or enter, such have again inserted the word folse in their information against the supposed libeller. informations, and even that it may be deIn the proceeding by civil action the defend- clared, either by a solemn decision of the ani is allowed to bring proof of the facts court of King's-bench, or by an act of parstated against the plaintiff in the libel; and, liament, to be necessary so to do, to make if he proves to the satisfaction of the jury the information, or indictment valid. For thut those facts are true, the jury ought to I agree with you in thinking " that falsegive their verdict for the defendant : ard it hood formerly was, and still ought to be, esis only in the criminal mode of proceeding sential as the groundwork of the charge." that the defendant is not allowed to bring I will further observe that, when the proof of the facts contained in the supposed word false was inserted in these informalibel, and that lord Mansfield declared, or tions, it was the usual practice of judges is reported to have declared, " that the to refuse to permit the defendents to

greater the truth of the libel, the greater bring evidence to prove the truth of the " is the libel." And the ground of this facts alledged in the supposed libels, beopinion of his lordship was not

o that the cause they said the published paper might me:atal uneasiness felt by an innocent man be a libel, or punishable publication, even upon reading a false charge niade against him if the facts contained in it should be true. in a libel was greater than the uneasiness But this reasoning of the judges does not ap

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