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tion is in danger of being destroyed by a single pamphlet. I have marked the course of this alarm: it' began with the renovation of those exertions for the public, which the alarmists themselves had originated and deserted; and they became louder and louder when they saw them avowed and supported by my admirable friend Mr. Fox; the most eminently honest and enlightened statesman, that history brings us acquainted with: a man whom to name is to honour, but whom in attempting adequately to describe, I must fly to Mr. Burke, my constant refuge when eloquence is necessary :-a man, who to relieve the sufferings of the most distant nation, "put "to the hazard his ease, his security, his interest, "his power, even his darling popularity for the be"nefit of a people whom he had never seen." How much more then for the inhabitants of his native country!-yet this is the man who has been censured and disavowed in the manner we have lately


Gentlemen, I have but a few more words to trouble you with I take my leave of you with declaring, that all this freedom which I have been endeavouring to assert, is no more than the ancient freedom which belongs to our own inbred constitution: I have not asked you to acquit Thomas Paine upon any new lights, or upon any principle but that of the law, which you are sworn to administer :-my great object has been to inculcate, that wisdom and policy, which are the parents of the government of Great

Britain, forbid this jealous eye over her subjects; and that, on the contrary, they cry aloud in the langtage of the poet, adverted to by Lord Chatham on the memorable subject of America, unfortunately without effect,

"Be to their faults a little blind,
"Be to their virtues very kind;
"Let all their thoughts be unconfin'd,

"And clap your padlock on the mind,”

Engage the people by their affections,



their reason, and they will be loyal from the only principle that can make loyalty sincere, vigorous, or rational,-a conviction that it is their truest interest, and that their government is for their good. straint is the natural parent of resistance, and a pregnant proof, that reason is not on the side of those who use it. You must all remember Lucian's pleasant story: Jupiter and a countryman were walking together, conversing with great freedom and familiarity upon the subject of heaven and earth. The countryman listened with attention and acquiescence, while Jupiter strove only to convince him ;-but happening to hint a doubt, Jupiter turned hastily round and threatened him with his thunder.-"Ah! "ah!" says the countryman, now, Jupiter, I know "that you are wrong; you are always wrong when

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This is the case with me-I can reason with the

people of England, but I cannot fight against the thunder of authority.

Gentlemen, this is my defence for free opinions. With regard to myself, I am, and always have been, obedient and affectionate to the law-to that rule of action, as long as I exist, I shall ever give my voice and my conduct; but I shall ever do as I have done to-day, maintain the dignity of my high profession, and perform as I understand them, all its important duties.

[Mr. Attorney General arose immediately to reply to Mr. Erskine, when Mr. Campbell (the foreman of the Jury) said,-My Lord, I am authorized by the Jury, to inform the Attorney General, that a reply is not necessary for them, unless the Attorney General wishes to make it, or your Lordship.-Mr. Attorney General sat down, and the Jury gave in their verdict,-GUILTY.]

To the trial of Thomas Paine, we subjoin Lord Erskine's Speech on the prosecution of the printer and publisher of the Age of Reason, written by the same Author. We print it in this place, though much out of the chronological order; as it appears to have been delivered in the year 1797-for two reasonsfirst, because, in preserving arguments illustrating the principles of British liberty, we are desirous not to be considered as in any manner sanctioning invectives against our admirable constitution; secondly, because we owe it to Lord Erskine himself, whose Speech upon the following prosecution may be considered as containing his own opinions and principles; it appearing to have been spoken more in his own personal character, than as an advocate; and the result seems rather to be against the full application of the arguments maintained by his Lordship, in defending the publication of the Rights of Man. Because, if it be law, that though a man may reason upon controversial points of divinity, however directly his reasonings may contravene the Scriptures as they are received and interpreted by our ecclesiastical establishment; yet that he may not, without being guilty of a misdemeanor, revile, in gross and indecent terms, the authority and

doctrines of the Gospel :-it seems to follow, that Thomas Paine, though he might legally have impugned by argument the principles of the British Government, yet could not, without being guilty of a libel, defame and ridicule the very foundation of it, in the gross and indecent terms, which characterize the Second Part of the Rights of Man, for which Mr. Paine was indicted. We conceive, therefore, that we have the authority of Lord Erskine himself, to deny the application of his own unquestionable principles to the support of his argument, in the case of the Rights of Man; which we can only consider as the argument of an advocate, bound to give the best assistance to a client.

It would be disgusting and indecent, to bring before the reader the matter contained in the Age of Reason, even as it appears in the terms of the Indictment ;— and the more so, as it is unnecessary to the understanding the case. It is sufficient to say, that it was by no means an argumentative consideration of the authority of the Old and New Testament; but an attack upon their authenticity, in language the most shocking and opprobrious. Lord Erskine laid the case. before the Jury, as follows.

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