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sical strength to the purposes of that Convention, wbich was, I submit to you, to assume all civil and political authority.
If you find all these things, and, if under the direction of that wisdom that presides here, with respect to which, Gentlemen, let me say again, that the situation of this country is indeed reduced to a most miserable one, if the respect which is due to the administration of the law, is suffered to be weakened in any manner, if the respect which is due to the administration of the law, that administration, which perhaps is the best feature of the constitution under which we live, is destroyed, miserable indeed must be the situation of your country! If you find under that direction that the case, being proved in fact, is also made out in law, you will do that on behalf of the public which is due to yourselves, to the public, to your posterity, and theirs.
But on the other hand, if, after hearing this case fully stated, and attempted to be fully proved, you should be of opinion that it is not proved, or you should be finally of opinion that the offence is not made out, according to the hallowed interpretation of the statute of Edward III. ; I say, then, in the conclusion, I join, from my heart, in the prayer which the law makes on behalf of the Prisoner, God send the Prisoner a safe deliverance !
Before Mr. Erskine's Speech for the Prisoner, we think it right to introduce a remarkable circumstance that attended this Trial, namely, that, it being impracticable to bring the evidence within the
compass of the longest possible sitting, it became necessary, from day to day, to adjourn the Court; and the following extract from the proceedings will show to what disadvantages, even with the indulgence of the Court and Jury, the Prisoners' Counsel were subjected. The trial began on Tuesday, the 28th of October, and the Court sat till a late hour on that day, Wed.” nesday, Thursday, and Friday, assembling at nine every morning. It is plain, that not a moment's time was afforded for considering and arranging the various matters to be observed upon in the defence. When the Court, therefore, was about to adjourn at two in the morning of Saturday (being the fourth day of the trial), and the evidence for the Crown being about to close, which would have rendered it necessary for Mr. Erskine to open the case of the Prisoner at nine the same morning, the following dialogue took place :
Mr. Erskine, My Lords, this is the fourth day that
my . friend Mr. Gibbs and myself have stood in a very anxious situation ;--there has been a most voluminous body of written evidence, all of which has not been printed :-copies of that part which is unprinted, have not as yet reached me :-there have been two days spent in hearing parol evidence; and we (being but two) assigned as counsel for the Pri
soner, have been obliged to be constantly engaged in Court, in cross-examining the witnesses for the Crown ;--and your Lordships very well know, that the cross-examination of the witnesses présents an important feature of our case on the part of the Prisoner, a great deal of which has fallen upon me: - your Lordships must be sensible that it was im. possible I could, at the time of cross-examining a witness, take any particular note of what he had said.When the evidence for the Crown was near closing, I humbly requested of your Lordships the indulgence of an hour or two to look over the papers ;-your Lordships were pleased to grant my request, which I considered as a personal civility to myself; but I was prevented, by extreme sickness, from availing myself of those two hours, for I was indeed so ill, that nothing less than a case of this magnitude could have brought me into Court.Since that time I have not had natural rest, not have ing' got home till between two and three o'clock in the morning, and having been here again at nine; so that I can say with a safe conscience, I have not had an opportunity of even casting my. eye upon any part of the evidence, though I trust I have something of the general result of it in my mind.-I should hope, under these circumstances, that the Pria soner might be indulged with some opportunity for my friend Mr. Gibbs and myself to arrange our papers, and consider them together as Counsel for the Prisoner, before we are called upon to make our dem?
fence. It is necessary to do this, not for my address to the Jury only, but that, when I do address them, I may present to them properly the Prisoner's case, which depends much upon the arrangement of the evidence.--I feel myself in no condition to do this, either in a manner respectful to the Court, or for the safety of the Prisoner. I do not wish to propose any particular time, but merely to leave it to the indulgence and justice of the Court, perfectly sure that, when I leave it there, I leave it in a safe place.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. I feel the weight of your observations; of the difficulty under which you labour, in an extraordinary case, which can hardly be judged of by the common rules on which we proceed in cases of this nature: the Court are of a disposition to give you all the indulgence they possibly can, because there is a vast mass of evidence ; the case arises out of the evidence, and it is fit the case should be thoroughly canvassed.At the same time, it is certainly notorious that the great bulk of that evidence has been in print a great while, and I cannot believe that it has not been very well considered as far as it has been in print, I am sure that must be understood.
Now I will tell you very fairly, if the question was only the personal accommodation of yourself and Mr. Gibbs, at the expense of the personal convenience of myself, my Lord, and my brothers, I am quite sure we should have no difficulty in the sacrifice of our personal convenience ;--- but there is
a great deal more in the case,—we have a Jury who have been thrown into the most arduous service that ever I saw a Jury engaged in ; they have borne it in a manner that does them infinite honour, and I have no doubt but, that, as far as it is necessary they should continue in the situation they are in, they will bear it cheerfully.- I have seen such a specimen of their behaviour, that I cannot entertain a doubt of that ;--but that we could give you an absolute suspension of the business in the situation that we are in, upon the terms of keeping the Jury in the situation in which they must be kept, is a thing that it is perfectly impossible for us to think of. Now this occurs to me, my brothers will consider of it; I merely throw it out for their consideration. You are men of honour, you will tell us whether you really do mean to call witnesses, or to take the case upon the ground upon which it is already made : if
you mean to call witnesses, you may call them tomorrow ; you may go on with the case as far as it will be necessary for you to go on, to fill up all the time that ought to be filled up, leaving only a part of Sunday, the common interval of rest, without our keeping the Jury in a situation to do nothing. If you do not mean to call witnesses, but mean to leave the case with the observations which arise
the evidence that is before the Court, we will go as far as we can; but if witnesses are to be called, and you desire not to address the Jury immediately, you must immediately begin to examine your witnesses, as