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with absolute impunity? It does appear to me that they ought not to escape with absolute impunity; but if
doubt in your minds, you will find a verdict for the defendant.
Lord Kenyon having summed up the evidence, the jury retired for an hour and a half, and then returned with a verdict of “Guilty.” The prisoner was sentenced to six month's imprisonment in Newgate, to stand one hour in the pillory at Charing Cross, and to be stricken off the roll of attorneys, a disgrace from which he never recovered.
MR. PERRY AND MR. LAMBERT,
EDITOR AND PRINTER OF THE MORNING CHROINCLE,
FOR A LIBEL.
The trial of Mr. Perry and Mr. Lambert on the 9th of December, A.D., 1793, derives additional importance from the fact of its being the first case of a libel tried after the passage of Mr. Fox's celebrated Libel Act. The Attorney-General's information charged the defendants, Mr. Perry and Mr. Lambert, as editor and printer of the Morning Chronicle, with publishing an address of a society for political information, held at the Talbot Inn, at Derby, which had been sent to the Morning Chronicle for insertion, in the ordinary course of business ; neither Mr. Perry nor Mr. Lambert having had any kind of connection or correspondence with the authors.
A sufficient presentation of the facts of the case is given in the following extracts from the address selected by the Attorney-General from the information itself, with the innuendoes :
“We (meaning the society aforesaid), feel too much not to believe that deep and alarming abuses exist in the British Government (meaning his said Majesty's Government of this kingdom), yet we are at the same time fully sensible that our situation is comfortable compared with that of the people of many European kingdoms, and that as the times are, in some degree, moderate, they ought to be free from riot and confusion.
“III. Yet we think there is sufficient cause to inquire into the necessity of the payment of seventeen millions of annual taxes, exclusive of poorrates, county-rates, expenses of collection, etc., etc., by seven millions of people; we think that these expenses may be reduced, without lessening the true dignity of the nation (meaning this Kingdom), or the government (meaning the government of this Kingdom), and therefore wish for satisfaction in this important matter.
“IV. We view with concern the frequency of wars (meaning, amongst others, the wars of his said Majesty and his subjects with foreign powers), we are persuaded that the interests of the poor can never be promoted by accession of territory, when bought at the expense of their labor and blood; and we must say, in the language of a celebrated author, we who are only the people, but who pay for wars with our substance and our blood, will not cease to tell kings or governments, that to them alone wars are profitable; that the true and just conquests are those which each make at home by comforting the peasantry, by promoting agriculture and manufactories, by multiplying men and the other productions of nature; that then it is that kings may call themselves the image of God, whose will is perpetually directed to the creation of new beings; if they continue to make us fight and kill one another in uniform, we will continue to write and speak until nations shall be cured of this folly. We are certain our present heavy burdens (meaning burdens of the subjects of this kingdom), are owing, in a great measure, to cruel and impolitic wars (meaning cruel and impolitic wars entered into by his said Majesty against foreign powers), and therefore we will do all on our part, as peaceable citizens, who have the good of the community at heart, to enlighten each other, and protest against them.
“V. The present state of the representation of the people (meaning the representation of the people of this kingdom in the Parliament thereof), calls for the particular attention of every man who has humanity sufficient to feel for the honor and happiness of his country, to the defects and corruptions of which we are inclined to attribute unnecessary wars, etc., etc. We think it a deplorable case when the poor (meaning the poor of this kingdom), must support a corruption (meaning corruption of the representation of the people of this kingdom in the Parliament thereof), which is calculated to oppress them (meaning the poor of this kingdom), when the laborer must give his money
to afford the means of preventing him having a voice in its disposal, when the lower classes may say, we give you our money for which we have toiled and sweat, and which would save our families from cold and hunger, but we think it more hard that there is nobody whom we have delegated to see that it is not improperly and wickedly spent; we have none to watch over our interests, the rich only are represented; the form of government (meaning the government of this Kingdom), since the revolution is in some (meaning some), respects changed for the worst, by the triennial and septennial acts (meaning acts of the Parliament of this Kingdom); we lost annual Parliaments, besides which, the wholesome provisions for obliging (meaning obliging), privy counsellors to subscribe their (meaning their), advice with their names, and against placemen and pensioners sitting in Parliament (meaning the Parliament of this Kingdom), have been repealed. It is said that the voice of the people is the constitutional control of Parliament (meaning the Parliament of this Kingdom), but what is this but saying that the representatives (meaning the representatives of the people in the Parliament of this Kingdom), are natrally inclined to support wrong measures, and that the people must (meaning must), be constantly assembling to oblige them to do their duty. An equal and uncorrupt representation (meaning