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as I most sincerely do, the preservation and prospe. rity of our happy constitution, I desire to enter my protest against its being supported by means that are likely to destroy it.-Violent proceedings bring on the bitterness of retaliation, until all justice and moderation are trampled down and subverted ;; witness those sanguinary prosecutions previous to the awful period in the last century, when Charles the First felt : that unfortunate prince lived to lament those vindictive judgments by which his impolitic, infatuated followers imagined they were supporting his throne :-he lived to see how they destroyed it ;-his throne, undermined by violence, sunk under him; and those who shook it were guilty in their turn (such is the natural order of injustice) not only of similar but of worse and more violent wrongs; witness the fate of the unhappy Earl of Strafford, who, when he could not be reached by the ordinary laws, was impeached in the House of Commons, and who, when still beyond the consequences of that judicial proceeding, was at last destroyed by the arbitrary wicked mandate of the Legislature.--James the Second lived to ask assistance in the hour of his distress, from those who had been cut off from the means of giving it by. unjust prosecutions; he lived to ask support from the Earl of Bedford after his son the unfortunate Lord Russell had fallen under the axe of injustice : “ I once had a son," said that noble person,
who “ could have served your Majesty upon this occa" sion,” but there was then none to assist him.
: I cannot possibly tell" how others feel upon these subjects, but I do know how it is their interest to feel concerning them ; we ought to be persuaded that the only way by which Government can be honourably or safely supported, is by cultivating the love and affection of the people; ---by showing them the value of the constitution by its protection ;-by: making them understand its principles by the practical benefits derived from thein ;-and above all, by letting them feel their security in the administration of law and justice.-What is it in the present state of that unhappy kingdom, the contagion of which fills us with such alarm, that is the just object of terror? -what, but that accusation and conviction are the same, and that a false witness or power without evldence is a warrant for death! Not so here ;-long may the countries differ! and I am asking for nothing more, than that you should decide according to our own wholesome rules, by which our government was established, and by which it has been ever protected. Put yourselves, Gentlemen, in the place of the Defendants, and let me ask, if you were brought before your country, upon a charge supported by no other evidence than that which you have heard to-day, and encountered by that which I have stated to you, what would you say, or your children after you, if you were touched in your persons or your properties by a conviction ?-may you never be put to such reflections, nor the country to such disgrace! The best service we can render to the public is, that we should live like one harmonious family, that we should banish all animosities, jeaJousies, and suspicions of one another; and that, living under the protection of a 'mild and impartial justice, we should endeavour, with one heart, according to our best judgments, to advance the freedom and maintain the security of Great Britain.
Gentlemen, I will trouble you no further; I am afraid indeed I have too long trespassed on your patience, I will therefore proceed to call my witnesses.
On the examination of the witnesses, to the matters mentioned by Mr. Erskine in his Speech, the witness for the Crown, Thomas Dunn, was so entirely cototradicted, that Mr. Law interposing, in the manner stated in the preface, the trial ended, and Mr. Walker and the other Defendants were acquitted.
FOR HIGH TREASON,
AT THE SESSIONS, HOUSE IN THE OLD BAILLY,
The Trial began on the 28th of October, and ended on the 5tb
of November, 1794.
SUBJECT OF THE TRIAL. WE havę nad been without cansiderable difficulties in preparing the introduction to Mr. Erskine's Speech upon this most memorable State Trial.
It was our original intention, as we have before stated, to have published such of Mr. Erskine's Speeches as we were able to collect, in the same manner as thase of the Master of the Rolls in Ireland had been printed in Dublin, which led, as we have said, to the present publication prefixing only, as in that coltection, a shart account of the accasions on which they were delivered. But as we advanced in the work, we found some of the Speeches, which we had collected, so clasely canneeted with political differences in our own times, that, to avoid even the appearance of partiality, or of any desire to render the work subservient to the aentiments ar views of any particular class of persons, howcuer eminent zmrabove all, ta avoid the most distant appearance of entering into the imputed or supposed designs of the persons prosecuted by Government, and defended in the Speeches in question, we found it advisable, because in those instances practicable, to print not only the Speeches for the Crown, but the whole substance of the evidence. This could not be done, upon the present occasion, without printing the whole Trial, which occupies three large volumes : yet, to give to Mr. Erskine's Speech-the publication of which is our principal design—its true spirit and effect, we found that it would be necessary to explain the nature of the arguments it opposed, and of the evidence which it appealed 10, and had prepared a concise statement of the whole case.- Still apprehensive, however, that we must be suspected of leaning to the side of the parties accused by Government and be charged with giving a garbled publication from motives foreign to our profession, we resolved to print the entire Speech of the Attorney General, in which he detailed the whole body of the evidence, and also the law respecting high treason, as he meant to apply it against the Prisoners, which, with the answer to it by Mr. Erskine, brings forward the whole outline of this interesting proceeding.
Never, perhaps, were any persons accused of high - třeason (certainly not since the government became esetiled at the Revolution) exposed to such great diffi
culties in making their defence. - It will be seen by the following Speeches, and by the Indictment prefixed to them, that the Prisoners were charged with compassing and imagining the death of the King, the overt act