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“ to excite any animofities as to the management of it. “ This has been always looked-upon as a crime ; and no « Government can be safe unless it be punished. Now, “ you are to consider, whether those words I have read to " you do not tend to beget an ill opinion of the Admi« niftration of the Government ?" Here, we find this able Chief Justice expressly directing the Jury to consider the tendency of the papers in question-to wit, “ whether, " they do not tend to beget an ill opinion of the administration of the Government ?" instead of telling them, (as modern Judges have often done) that this tendency is a mere inference of law, which the Judges only bave a right to make, without any concurrence of the Jury. And to this most reasonable and valuable right of considering both the tendency of the papers complained-of, and the intention of the writer, or publisher, in publishing them, which is usaally an inference of reason, or common sense, not of law, to be drawn from the tendency of them ; (though sometimes it happens, that this intention may even be proved, by the positive testimony of witnesses, which is an additional mark of its being a matter of fa&, and not e matter of law). I hope, the Juries of this country will now be restored, by the laudable and patriotick efforts of Mr. Fox and Mr. Erskine in the course of the approaching debate.
THE BILL PROPOSED BY MR. FOX AND MR. ERSKINE IN
SUPPORT OF THE RIGHT OF JURIES TO DETERMINE THE WHOLE MATTER IN ISSUE IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS FOR PUBLISHING LIBELS.
From the PUBLIC ADVERTISER, Feb, 15, 1792.
Upon a subject in which every Englishman is so materially interested as in the power of a jury, our readers may be gratified by a perusal of Mr. Fox's Bill, patriotically brought into Parliament to remove DOUBTS respecting the FUNCTIONS of Juries, in cases of LIBEL.
The bill was yesterday read a third time, and passed to the Lords ; it is extremely short, and, verbatim, as follows.
“Whereas doubts have arisen, whether, on the trial of “ an Indi&tment or Information for the making or publishing
any libel, where an issue or issues are joined between the “ King and the defendant or defendants, on the plea of “ Not “ Guilty" pleaded, it be competent to the Jury, impannel“ led to try the same, to give their verdiet upon the whole " matter in issue :
• Be it therefore declared and enacted, by the King's “ Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and “ consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Com“mons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the “ authority of the fame, That, on every such trial, the “ jury sworn to try the issue, may give a general verdi&t of “Guilty or Not Guilty, upon the whole matter put in “isue upon such Indi&tment or Information; and shall not “ be required, or directed, by the Court, or Judge, before “ whom such Indi&tment, or Information, shall be tried, to “ find the defendant, or defendants, guilty, merely on the “proof of the publication by such defendant, or defendants, “ of the paper charged to be a libel, and of the sense ascribed “ to the same in such Indictment or Information: Provided “ always, that on every such trial, the court, or judge, before “ whom such Indi&tment, or Information, shall be tried, « Ihall, according to their, or his, discretion, give their, or “his, opinion and directions to the Jury, on the matter in “ issue between the King and the defendant, or defendants, « in like manner as in other criminal cases: Provided also, “ that nothing herein contained shall extend, to prevent “ the Jury from finding a special verdict, in their discre“ tion, as in other criminal cases: Provided also, that, in “ case the Jury shall find the defendant, or defendants, “ guilty, it shall and may be lawful for the faid defendant,
or defendants, to move in arrest of judgment, on such “ ground, and in such manner, as, by law, he, or they, “ might have done before the passing of this act; any thing “ herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.”
A SPEECH FOR THE LIBERTY OF UNLICENSED
TO THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND.
Published in November, 1644,
BY JOHN MILTON, THE AUTHOR OF PARADISE LOST.
Τελέυθερον δ' εκείυο, ει τις θέλει πόλει
THEY, who to States and Governors of the commonwealth direct their specch, High Court of Parliament ! or, wanting such access, in a private condition, write chat which they foresee may advance the publick good; I suppose then, as at the beginning of no mean endeavour, not a little altered and moved inwardly in their minds; some with doubt of what will be the fuccess, others with fear of what will be the cenfure; some with hope, others with confidence of what they have to speak. And me perhaps each of these dispositions, as the subject was whereon I entered, may have at other times variously affected; and likely might in these foremost expressions now also disclose which of them swayed most, but that the very attempt of this address thus made, and the thought of whom it hath recourse to, hath got the power within me to a passion,
far more welcome than incidental to a preface. Which though I stay not to confess ere any alk, I shall be blameless, if it be no other, than the joy and gratulation which it brings to all who wish and promote their country's liberty; whereof this whole discourse proposed will be a certain testimony, if not a trophy. For this is not the liberty which we can hope, “ that no grievance ever should arise in the commonwealth :” That let no man in this world expect. But, when complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained, that wise men look-for. To which if I now manifest, by the very found of this which I shall utter, that we are already in good part arrived; and yet from such a steep disadvantage of tyranny and superstition grounded into our principles, as was beyond the manhood of a Roman recovery; it will be attributed first, as is moft due, to the strong assistance of God, our Deliverer; next, to your faithful guidance and undaunted wisdom, Lords and Commons of England ! Neither is it in God's esteem, the diminution of his glory, when honourable things are spoken of good men, and worthy magistrates; which if I now first should begin to do, after fo fair a progress of your laud- . able deeds, and such a long obligement upon the whole realm to your indefatigable virtues, I might be juftly reckoned among the tardiest, and the unwillingelt, of them that praise ye. Nevertheless there being three principal things, without which all praising is but courtship and Aattery, first, when that only is praised which is solidly worch praise; next, when the greatest likelihoods are brought, that such things are truely and really in those persons, to whom they are ascribed ; the other, when he who praises, by showing that such