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cort-bills--taxes-game-laws-impress serviceany thing that could be represented as a grievance, as well as the government itself, and to this intent--that, in aid and assistance of each other, societies, as they expressed it, “ might overspread the whole face of “ the island," and " that the island might become

free"-you will mark their expressions—“by the 66

same means, by which France became so.

Gentlemen, in stating to you the character of the evidence, it is necessary for me to make one observation, and it is the last I shall trouble you with : it is with respect to the principles upon which con. struction is to be given to the written evidence that will be adduced in this cause. Now, I desire to state this to your minds, as a principle perfectly reasonable in the administration of justice towards men, who are called upon to answer for offences, that the language, which they use, ought to be considered according to its obvious sense. If the language admits, and naturally admits, of a double interpretation, it must then be considered according to the nature of the principle, which that language is calculated to carry into execution ; each paper must be considered with reference to the context of the same paper, and with reference to the contents of all other papers, that form the evidence of the same system, which the paper produced is meant to prove.

Now, if you should find that, in detailing the objects of this Society, in detailing what they meant to do, and in detailing how they meant to execute

what they purposed, they should in fact have stated, that they meant neither that which was legal,--nor that which was constitutional,-nor that which was other than treason, it will be in vain that they have thought fit (for the greater prudence, the greater care, and the greater caution, which you will have most abundant evidence to prove they exercised occasionally, but add to the guilt by increasing the danger) to assert at other times, when they have used general language, that what they meant to effect was legal, and that they meant to effect it in a legal and constitutional manner. It will become those, who have the defence upon their hands, to state to you how, in a legal and constitutional manner, those things could be done, which were intended to be done, and which this Indictment states were intended to be done, if I prove to your satisfaction that they were intended to be done by the means and ina struments, which the Indictment refers to.

Gentlemen of the Jury, their principle, as you will find, was, that equal active citizenship is the right of all men, and that upon this principle their representation of the people was to be asked for. Now, it requires no reasoning to state, that a representation of the people founded upon the principle of equal active citizenship of all men, must forma Parliament into which no King, nor Lords, could enter. There is an end of equal active citizenship the moment that either of them exists, according to my construction of equal active citizenship, and ac

cording to their construction of it; for they state that the effect of it is a representative government. But it is not enough for me to tell you that, in reasoning, this is the consequence ;—it is a circumstance to be taken into your consideration ; but I

but I say I shall satisfy you, if I am bound to go further, that the application of the principle of equal active citizenship, according to them, was to be the foundation of a representative government, rejecting the King and Lords out of the system. The principles were the principles upon which the constitution of France, in the year 1791, was formed : the principles of that constitution were the principles of equal active citizenship: they attempted indeed to preserve a King in the constitution, and to form what I may call a royal democracy: but I shall prove to demonstration, that the leaders of these clubs in London knew that that constitution could not exist, that their principles led them to a distinct knowledge that that constitution could not exist : it was in the month of August 1792 entirely overturned ; and you will find from the transactions of this Society in the months of October and November 1792, unless I mistake the effect of the evidence, the clearest demonstration that these societies meant in applying those principles, which they themselves state had destroyed the exist

of a King in France, because they must destroy the existence of a King in any country. You will find that, from October 1792 at least, these societies meant to destroy the King in this country, and that


this was the natural effect of their own principles, as they understood them.

Gentlemen, you will now give me leave to state to you, as well as I can, and as intelligibly as I can, the mass of evidence, and the case which I have to lay

before you.

· The particular act, the nature of which will be to be explained by all the rest of the evidence, which has led to the including these particular persons in one Indietment, arose out of a letter, dated the 27th of March 1794, which was written by the Prisoner, then the secretary to the London Corresponding Society; to the Society for Constitutional Information. The words of it are these :

“ I am directed by the London Corresponding So“ ciety to transmit the following resolutions to the

Society for Constitutional Information, and to re"

quest the sentiments of that Society respecting the « important measures which the present juncture of “ affairs seems to require. The London Corre

sponding Society conceives that the moment is ar"rived"--mark the words; for, in the rest of what I have to state, you will frequently hear of the time to which that alludes" when a full and explicit declaration is necessary from all the friends of freedom, whether the late illegal and unheard-of pro“ secutions and sentences shall determine us to « abandon our cause, or shall excite us to pursue a “ radical reform with an ardour proportionate to the ( magnitude of the object, and with a zeal as distin

guished on our part as the treachery of others in “ the same glorious cause is notorious. The Society “ for Constitutional Information is therefore required “ to determine whether or no they will be ready, “ when called upon, to act in conjunction with this ~ and other societies, to obtain a fair representation “ of the people.” Gentlemen, give me your attention presently to what they conceive to be a fair representation of the people, when I come to state the resolutions which they transmit! « Whether

they concur with us in seeing the necessity of a

speedy Convention for the purpose of obtaining," (then they use the words) “ in a constitutional and

legal method"-of the effect of which you will judge presently, for the method will not be the more constitutional and legal for their calling it so, if the method is in fact unconstitutional and illegal —" a “ redress of those grievances under which we at « present labour, and which can only be effectually “ removed by a full and fair representation of the

people of Great Britain. The London Corre. “ sponding Society cannot but remind their friends " that the present crisis demands all the prudence, “ unanimity, and vigour, that ever may or can be

exerted by men or Britons ; nor do they doubt but " that manly firmness and opnsistency will finally, " and they believe shortly, terminate in the full ac"! complishment of all their wishes.

They then resolve, and these resolutions are enclosed; “ įst, That dear as justice and liberty are to

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