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TUESDAY , M&BCB 17 t _ . ( Before Mr , Jmttiee Coleridge . J GOYEMMENT P&OSECUTIGN AGAISST IE 1 EGUS O'COMOR . This bring the morning fixed for taking tie ear ojlew Information against Mr . O'Connor , the proprietor of the Jfortfers Star , the Court was crowded to excess in every part So early as « gbt «« o < i , the doors of the Coart were besieged by respectable persons anxions to obtain jamittsnee ; and a greater , degree of excitement inm j « bibly never ke ** re witasssedlnthe Jfist Prins Conrt . lie attendance of banisters aad magistrates was unusually large , aad every standing place was occupied . Attrong body of _* police -was Btationed at tlu . doors te prevent confusion .
The Attorney-General arrived Bhortly before nine e > c-ocl , and took bis seat immediately in front of the Jary , in tie place -usually occupied by Mr . Alexander . In a few minutes afterwards Mr . O'Connor arriTed , and , after looting about some time , took bis seat at the counsels' table , immediately on the right of tbe Judge , in the place generally filled by Mr . CresswelL He -was accompanied by Mr . Turner , of the firm of Yates and Turner , solicitors , London . Immediately on Mr . O'Connor taVi-ng ftis seat , the Special Jury were called . Tae following gentlesnen answered , and were empannelled . SPECIAL JTRY .
Thomas Cariile , Esq ., of Bessie , shipowner . Joseph Robinson Pease , of Hessle , Esq . Joseph Tindall , of Ruswarp , Eaq . £ _ i > oWBer . John Atkinson , of Birdsall , Esq . TV . Hodgson Atkins , of Sharisxcne , Esq . John Staveley , of Springfield , in Halifax , merchant , TV . Wrigley , of Springdale , in Lockwowd , merchant . George Haigh , jun ., of Xortbowram . merchant Henry Brewster Barley , of Buttons' Ambo , Esq . John . Thomas Mwterm&n , of YaSoTtk , Esq . itt £ y ?< m * m& 8 . & & * m ™ . *»* , e ** JSMUIA MSUMUnr ol-CroStsmoOr , 1 b BcdeahUl \ j .. ' E « low , Tnfreh _ it the Aixorxet-General , Mr . Sergeant Atcher-LET , Mr . Cbesswell , Q , C-, and Mi . ¦\ Yightsi _ s , appeared for the prosecution . Hi . CTCo . vsoR defended in person .
Mr . Wightkas opened the pleadings . This was an information filed by her Majesty ' s Attorney-General , against Feargus O'Connor , and ft charges tJat he did , on the ISth July , publish a seditious iibel in a newspaper entitled the Xorihern Star . There -was another coua ; charging that be did in that newipap-r of tbe S&sh July , pnbliih another seditious libel The defendant ple ^ deJ >" ot Guilrv . The Atiosnet-Genehal then rose , and delivered the following speech in a low tone of voice : —May it please your Lordship , Gentlemen of the Jury , I La re the honour to att-end in the discharge of my official duty to conduct the prosecution fur a libel which I felt bounl to bring before your notice . The charge against
the defendant is of a very serious nature . This is not a eommoa libeL The intention charged upon the defendant by this information , which I think you can have no difficulty , having heard the publication , in saying he entertained , is an incitement to insurrection , to " induce Her Majesty ' s subjects to disobey the law , and to lead to sTioJaiion of prsperty . I hope there will never be any prosecution by any Government of thi 3 country for free discussion . This is a right of Englishmen which I trust they win ever possess . But if the press be used for the purpose of bringing about insurrection and defiance of the law , and to overturn established institutions by force , it then becomes the bounden dnty of those who SK to superintend the law , to bring before a jury those
who are guilty of such an offence . Such an abuse of the press has a tendency to lead to restrictions of the press , and to curtail those privileges which we boast of , and which I hope we shall ever defend . It cannot be endured in any civilized country , under any form of government , that ' publications should be allowed to issue from the press directly inciting the commission of crime . You will say whether those publications have that tendency . I have thought it my duty to bring theui before yon , that you may judge . There has sprung up within about two years of the present time a poliucal yet called Chartists , who approve of physical force . With regard to mere speculative opinion , " that is free far every man , and while he seeks to spread and support
his opinions by lawful aud constitutional means , no man has a right to complain . But the sect to which 1 refer have formed a resolution to carry into effect their schema by force and violence . They have formed this opiaioQ , thit property i » not to be respected , and that there ought to be a new distribution of property , of "which they are by force to share . Gentlemen , such doctrines are utterly subversive of civil society , and cannot be tolerated in any country . I chaige the defendant with publishing articles in the . ^ ewspaper at which he is editor and proprietor , fflreetry having that tendency ; Tte system of the newspaper conducted by Mr . O'Connor has been to pnbHsb accounts , or supposed accounts , of speeches made at
pablie meetings of those Chartists , of the most inflammatory , and dangerous , and culpable description , and to publish those with applause and approbation , holding out the sentiments expressed in those speeches to be idopteJ and acted upon . 2 \" ow , I must regret that Mr . 0 'Gunnor , whom I knew in former timea , when I sat tith him in the House of Commons , should pervert to s&eh a purpose the talents and abilities Le possesses ; bet I shall not shrink from the duty cast upon me by tiw oSce which I have the honour of filling . 1 do n » t aj that Mr . O'Connor , as the proprietor of this newspyw , is necessarily answerabls for every thing that saj appear in it , if it should be published merely as atkles of intelligence , and stiil more if it be published tbititmay be censured and condemned ; but if he
refcrts , as I ihail Bhow you he has done , to this system " * i ~ a view to give impetus to that movement which he ays he directs , then 2 say he is most culpable , and I humbly submit to you that he is guilty of ihe charge imputed to him . This prosecution proceeds upon two Bombers of the Sonhem Star , a paper published at —* ds ; of great circulation in this part of the country , ~ d indeed 1 believe I may say ail over the country . lh = se numbers were published on the loth and 20 th of July last The first article which I shall bring under your notice is a speech of Mr . O'Connor ' s himself , for which he is of course responsible , being published in -fib own newspaper . That speech professes to have » es mads at Rochdale , and is headed " Rochdale Deface Fund Meeting . " It begins : —
" Mr . O'Connor then came forward amidst protracted cheers . He sa : d it was some time « ince he was last among them : and , as it appeared there was no resolution before the chair , it * aa competent for him to propose one for their adoption . « had been his intention to proceed immediately to BLickbarn and Bolton , to attend meetings there ; but ««* * hat had happened t \ Birmingham he would put B to those present whether it would not be more protest for himself , and serviceable to the cau 3 e , that he •«> nld at once start off for the latter place . i Cries of " to &rmingham . " i When he arrived there on Monday last , he ta . tr no mischief was brewing , meetings were conta
* Oy being held in the BullRing , andhcavy fines were jetted by the magistrates for attendiog them . The vsarention deeidsd against interfering , but when he »» so many assembled there , in the evening he did wdress them , aad tell them his opinion as to the le-Wity of the meetings . He said that the law wonld I * oiect those who were agitating in their own parish , * hea h would not throw the same prutection round a Jk sDger as he was , in their town . He asked them to "flow him to Gosts . Green , where he and Frost ad-Oftssed a meeting of at least fotty thousand . Four « 5 sdred special constab ' . as and dragoons followed them , * 8 d as soon as the people had all left the Bull Ring wey immediately took txwsession of it . to hinder tho ™ M Bfe
^ fc ^ » ^^ — ^^ - ^ —^^^ ^^ p ^ ^ p ^ . ^^ awn assembling again ; but Scholefield and Mnntz and S * rest of the clique had now got what they wanted , ¦ & the first use they made of their newly-acquiwd |»» er was to tarn it against the people . ( Shame . ) As a ^ as ia Birmingham to it was everywhere else , the «* 5 l aristocracy in every Tillage were doing their ut-* ° a to put down tie cause of the people by physical *® ee . Could they think of opposing this physical force W ^ in raal force . ( Hear . ) So , but « n the contrary , when * J ?« ical force was brought against them it would be ¦ * duty to give it a warm reception . ( Che ^ s . ) They *<* e now so organized throughout the country , that 9 J" *^^ k *™ ****** * from *** £ > t * P - ~ jj « traitor . ( Load cheers . ) It was only folly that " *« 1 now endanger the cause . The people had gone on " * quering , and like good generals they had strength-™« the ground behind them , but if they abandoned ** Present position to Y \* ttm to ih « Tii > nnA > fil <> rJt fl / v .
^ ttfieiit , and although they had won in skirmishes , gj *>« 7 would lose on the field day . ( Cheers . ) But noj ^« 6 ha . d made so great an impression on th ysirenemies " ** silent monitor , because under its l ^ rt ( which ^* sub stitute for tbe light of the sun , ) the people ^_ J » pite of their masters , and until they were thus T" ?^ the opportunity , the masters had no power ef ^~ £ n 5 of their moral force . And notwithstanding *** proclamations , should the grievances of tbe £ "* >* continue tni the sun again shortened hi 3 - ^ Od ^ tm ld tbe constitutional meetings of the loire W ?!? DecessM T . b-e Mr . O'Connor ) would re-*»» t ^^ T k ^ 'tilan ^ T * 1 proclamations fur
suppresyft ~~ ' ^^ might depend on it they would do no-J * ~* K they dem&ndfed that now -aiey would do the J ^^ ttf the m * sfcr 3 desired- iHear , hew . ) Their J | rg ° !*« "" ^ e ' ell filled , and ihiy had so much ^^ > a 7 . Uat population was a dmg in the market , 1 ao Jr ^ conld d « without the people during the sacred jjJt ! TeiT velL Let their laoour become valuable , l " ; * igj ^ ^ ^ the- whole country strike on a given day , \ i R ; . t ^** ^ t ** 1 ^ V ) their callings till ihey had worked * *• " ^ thrf > oliticaland social salvation , iCheers . ) But f f , ' » hijh ? 5 i ^ " * m worth nothing , as a proef of r "i - ^ v ~ V * ocid instance that the cotton manufacturtr ^ » Btocfc l tte »¦*• materials for £ 10 , sold it again in -S- I ^ J ^ «»*« for 5 s ., while £ i ' s worth of wheat ' 3 . u 8 b ^ T'l i ^ irazr ' - ( Hear , hear , and eries of " . i Aean tv ^ T 81116 " ** ' In co ^^^ ence of labour bsing so -& ¦ ^ ' " ^ bU tteir starehotues by trading oa fietf-
tion »" c « pa « l , sad Una they were enabled todispense with \ o » 8 errieea of the people for a time much longer than the sacred mouth . The storehouse key was their competitor , that and the machinery together . ( True true . ) Fomerly the master honoured his apprentice , and when he hid a large order he was obliged to treaf him kindly , and would most likely say to him , " come my lad , stop and finish this piece , and I'll gire thee half a crown . " ( Laughter . ) Whereas , now , it would most likely be " up , you dirty blackguard , and get to work directly , " or something equally agreeabie . ( Great laughter . ) If they rightly considered this , they must sse that they had lost the proud position they had formerly held , and were now ^ redueed to the necessity of living from hand to mouth , because labour was not suf-Uon » o » pa _ , « idUna ^ ey were enabled todispense with
ficiently protected by existing laws , and those laws will never be altered so as to transfer the key of the storehouse into their hands , till Universal Suffrage becomes tbe law of the land . ( Great cheering . ) Yes , " if they had Universal Suffrage to-morrow , they would ' not allow the system to remain a day longer . ; Hear , hear . ) The people ought to have a portion of their native soil , and the poor squalid wretches who are t > ent up in their dose looms , and thenuxious alleys of Manchester , sh ^ uid have the power of turning out from , and of enjoying the invaluable blessings of the sun and air . ( Cheers . ) ° All they asked for -was a fair day ' s wage for a fair day ' s work , and the request was just and reasonable . ( Hear hear . ) He had himself told the Irish bis moral and polities ! creeds . His moral creed was^— Do unto others tfcd mto
flBjRW ' wBwfertt ^ ^ do vou , " andl&pttffitd creed teas thai hi had just alluded to— a fair dav ' s wage for a fair day ' s \ cvrk . " iCheers . ) The land belon- ^ ed to the people ; those who by their capital and labour cultivated it , had a right to its production ; but no man had a right to more than lr . s share of the soil itself , which upon every principle of justice belonged equally to all the inhabitants of the conntry . To show how valuable the JaDd was , he would willingly givo up all that was funnd within its entoiU , so t a : man might have his share of the production of its surface . ( Cheers ) The labourers oaxht to possess the earth , but ht would no : exclude scientific men , who , by their discoveries , improved the condition of the human race , and as effectually worked with their heads , as others with
thwr hands . But as for soldiers , police , judges , barristers , bishops , and parsons , they swarmed , in this unhappy country , like locusts , devouring every green thing , and making that which should be a piralise , no better than a hell upon earth . ( Cheers . ) A great rieal was said of the incumbrance of the National Debt , but he had shewn that twonty-five English and twt-nty-firo Irish lawyers , and fifty Bishops and clergy , received as much as one-fifteenth part of the interest of the National Debt iShamej This was a pretty state of things for a working man to contemplate . Here were fifty limbs of the law , and fifty limbs of the devil , receiving more money than alt the paupers of the country . All he contended for was , that these immense disparities should no
longer exist—that the poor man should have his storehouse , ^ ndhis cottage be his sentry-bex—that he should have , as his friend Bussey recommended , a flitch of bacon on one side tbe chimney , and a musket on the other , so that the musket might defend the bacon . Great laughter and cheering . ) He never would descend to catch a fleeting popularity by going too far 'hear , hear );—but the moment theyjwere provided with arms , they would be in a condition to defend those rights which were still left to them , while Government would be induced to give -up those of which they had been deprived . iCheers . ) In their progress towardspol ^ pal emancipation , they had three stages to go through—to create , to unite , and to direct . They had created opinion , and they were united in it , and
when it was properly directed , their victory would be complete . ( Cries of " Eear , hear . " ) But there was a more povrerful vo : ce than his to direct the movementhe meant that of the pr-ss . Formerly , no attention was paid-to the demands of the people . Most of those present must recollect the day when , if they wished to see an account of a popular meeting , they must take some paltry newspaper which might contain about a finger-length of tha intelligence they sought . If he had died three years ago , the present movement , to which he bad given an impetus , by travelling from county to county , might have been retarded ; but if anything should happen to Mm now , he left the Jiirrlhrrn Star—( cheers ) —behind him , Trhieh he boasted would prove a good substitute . ''
After that it alludes to the transactions at Binning ham , which I mention , as they tire now matter of history . An outbreak arose there ; the local authorities resorted to constitutional merois , and suppressed that outbreak , by constables in the town and extra constables obtained from London , ana order and tranquillity were restored . Gentlemen , repeated verdicts of juries hav » shown , that the magistrates in suppressing that outrage , did nothing more than the law commanded them to do , and they would have been guilty of a great offence if , holding the commission of her Majesty , they had not done all that they could for the purpose of securing the public peace . Mr . O'Connor then comments on these transactions as follows : — " As it was in Birmingham , so it was every where else , th » local
aristocracy in evtjy village ware doing their utmost to put down the cause of the people fey physical force . Could they , think of opposing thi 3 physical force l . ynv . ral force ? >"« , but on the contrary , when physical force was brought against them , it wculd be their duty to give it a-warm reception . ( Cheers . ) They were now so _ organisrd throughout the country that they would have little to feaT from the rogue , the spy , or the traitor . ( Loud cheers , ) It was only folly that could now endanger the cause . Tbe people had gone on conquering , and like good generals they had strengthened the ground behind them ; but if they abandoned their present position to listen to the proposals of
Government , then although they had won in skirmishes , yet they would lose on the field day . ( Cheers . ) But nothing had made so great an impression on their enemies as the silent moniter , because under its light ( which was a substitute for the light of the sum the people met in spite of their masters , and until they were thus afforded the opportunity , the masters had no power of judging of their moral force . And notwithstanding Royal proclamations , should the grievances of the people continue till the sun again shortened his rays , and should the constitutional meetings of tbe people become necessary , he tMr . O'Connor ) would require better law than Royal proclamations for suppressing torch light meetings . "
The . Learned Attorket-Gehebal having urged that in these passages there were strong incitements given to insubordination and violence , drew attention to » paragraph which formed the third count in the information , and which professed to give an account of a meeting of the "Men of Newcastle . " It was as follows : — "We see by the Tyne Hercury , that on Snnday morning , in consequence of the non-arrival of an expecttd letter from Dr . Taylor , that the greatest anxiety prevailed in Newcastle , and as the cay advanced crowds were formed in groups in the stre :-t « , in deep and tamest discussion ; about noon , the arrest of Dr . Taylor and others became generally knownand
, written placards were immediately exhibited , calling a grett public meeting , to bs held at six o " clock that evening , in the New Lecture Room . Mr . Ayre pressed , and Mr . O'Brien was tbe principal speaker . He concluded his harangue by advising the people not to let one week pass over , or one hour if possible without procuring arms to defend their Queen , the Constitution , and above all their own rights and liberties . The resolutions passed were the following , and the speakers advised no one to hold his hand up for them who was n « fully prepared to follow it up by his future actions . They were carried unanimously , and especially the second one , with loud and tremendous cheering . "
1 . "That the Government have committed high treason against the Qneen and Constitution , by attempting to diverse the people of Birmingham when discussing their mi ghty grievances . " 2 . " That in case the Government shall persist in dispersing the meetings of the people by physical force , we , the men of Newcastle . putting our trust in God , and resting upon our rights and the constitution , are determined to meet an illegal force by constitutional
resistance . " Mr . Jas . Ayre , in proposing meetings every evening on theForth , exhorted them to arm themselves with pikes , with muskets , with the fire-brand and the torch ; and . when the property of their opponents was destroyed , they would be as poor as themselves and equally ai Tolgar . He had prepared himself with a musket , which he had examined that day , and found it in good order . "W ith these , and many more like words , were the men of Newcastle exhorted to promote the Charter . " The Attorney-General continued : —Were n « t the Char tists called upon to approve of the sentiments of Mr . Ayre ? were they notealled up « n tofollow the exhortations he threw OBt . vii to idopt the musket , the torch , and the firebrand . So much for the paper of tbe 13 th Jnly , and now comes that of tbe 20 th July . It proceeds in a strain of profane perrersitn of the Holy Scriptures . The article is headed " Great Radical Demonstration at Manchester . "
" A meeting was convened in StephenBon ' s-square , on Saturday night last , for the purpose of taking in consideration the general state of the country , and of supporting the men of Birmingham . " " ^ j . Wm . Taylor , ef Newton Heath , ww next introduced to the me * ting . He said you have this evening heard expressions that some of yon will be disposed to call strong ones . Well , then , if these be weak times strong words ought to be spoken , and some of you , no doubt , bars httad . expansions that inspire jou with
fresh courage —( cheers )—and some of you , no doubt , have heard expressions that have produced qualms of conscience , and thrown you Into a quandary . ( Hear . ) Well , I don't know that I can say anything stronger than has been said ; I don't think I can say anything that will terrify more than what has been spoken ; but I know that in God " s book , for I am a Bible Radical—( cheers )—I know that in the Scriptures , in the book that the parsons all profess to love , I know that in the sacred volume this cause is spoken of , and that the means by which this cauw shall ultimately be gained , are there laid down . Go to the Bible , then , for instruction . Now , when I say this , I don't mean that you are not to hear men speak , and to read other books at the same time ; but while you do this , take God ' s fresh co urage —( cheer 3 ) -and some of von . no rtnnht
book for your guide , and read there God ' s desire towards his own people , what he has said concerning his heritage , and you will find there that man was made free , and that man ought to be free , and that though his fellow may have bound him , he shall again ke free . tLoud cheers . ) All that is in the Bible and a great deal more than I can tell you . ( Loud cheers , and cries of "It is . ") But there is one question that many of you have asked of yourselves , your neighbours , your friends , and your miniiters , and that is , what shall we do ? ( Hear , hear . ) Whither shall we go ? And you have asked the question because you have considered that things have got nearly to the far © ad ; that the machinery of the State has gone almost to the eodof ita turning ! aad because you a » satisfied that tKe tfrceent
system cannot work much longer , howeVer well the wheels may be oiled ; however well they may be patched up , the time has come . We know it to be come ! God ' s word tells us it hascome ; when the present state of things must pass away . ( Cheers . ) Now it must , it really must come , the Scriptures declare it , and that is the reason why it must come . ( Hear , hear . ) Now , there is one maxim of Govt-rnnunt in the Scriptures , and if all tbe rest were false that one is true ; it is this , Jesu 3 uttered it— "A kingdom that is divided against itself cannot stand . " ( Hear , hear , and cheers . ) Now do you believe that ? ( Yes , yes . ) Now I have only one more question to propose in reference to this , and that is , ' Is England divided against itself ? " ( Loud cries ef yes , yes . ) Aye , indeed , it ia divided against itself , for
the rich are opposed to the interests of the poor , ami the poor groan under the oppression of the rich . ( Yes , yes . ) It is divided then—( yes)—and Jtsus says it cannot stand . Now , ministers may preach peace aa they like ; great men may tell you that there will be a fall if they please ; learned and wise men may ttll you that the cause of dread shall pass away like the morning vapour , or like the noontide cloud ; but the Sacred Scriptures tell me that it cannot stand , and if it cannot stand it shall fall . ( Loud cheers ) Now I read something about a great image in the Scriptures , and about it having a head of gold . Go to the great city not 500 miles from London , and you will find the gieat head of gold nationally . Come to Manchester and you will find the feet ef that image . What are the
feet composed of ? Iron and clay . Iron cannot mix with elay , but it can put an impression upon clay . ( Cheers ) The iron are the rich , the clay are the poor . Then I read something about a little stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands , that fell upon the image , and it fell to pieces . Yes , it felL What I the whole national system of policy fell ?—yes . The present system of government fall?—yes . The throne fall ?—yes . The Constitution , as it is , fall ? —yes . The present grades of society and distinctions among the people , fall?—yes . The present corrupt system among men fall ?—yes . Thoa 9 distinctions that destroy good brotherhood , and make enemies under the same roof , fall?—yes . What are all to fall ?—every one . Could you like to part with them all 1—yes . They
are all very expensive , nay , they are even useless , for they require more servants to keep them clean than they are worth . They shall fall , every ona of them , for in the 7 th chapter of Daniel it is said that in the days of these things the God of heaven will set up a kingdom . Now , thftt kingdom will be God ' s kingdom ; it will not be Queen Victoria ' s kingdom—it will not be the kingdom of other nations of Europe—it will not bo the kingdom of an aristocratic Government , or of any Government » t np by the selfish and the few . God ' s kingdom will be an universal one , set up by Universal Snffirage , ( Cheers . ) The people will all have a voioein it j they "Will each have a choice , every one of them : every one of them will declare bis own right , and each , will contend for God ' s l aw * and Ood shall be King .
Thm things I hesitate not to say are tme . Is it true that thaw things are ia the Scriptures ? Do yoar minister ! tell you they are not ? Ia it true ? Is it true that these thlugs are in the Bible , though your teachers tell you there is no such thing . Still it is true . They reject the Book they preach . They con , tradict the things which they declare—they set aside the truths of God . I need not point out , to you how this state of things has come to pass . How the injustice commenced 1 need not tell you . What it is for a people to be in captivity , I need not tell yon . That you are captives , I need not tell you . tHear , hear . ) Though they had given twenty millions for the emanci- . pation of black s ' aves , they would not give twenty shillings for the emancipation of thft white slates . I need not tell yeu that you are slaves , slaves bearing *
great burden , slaves bearing a greater load , slaves enduring greater toil , slaves under the most oppressive system of Government , and slaves that alone must work out their own freedom . Now if you ask " Wbat shall we do , " I will tell you what God says you should do , and you will find that in tbe second verse of the 15 th chapter of the book of Jeremiah , the Prophet says , " and if the people inquire what shall we do , whither shall we go ? thou shalt « ay to them , thus saith the Lord , those that are for death , to death ; such as are for the sword , to the sword ; such as are for the famine , to the famine ; and such as are for the captivity , te the captivity . ( Loud cheers . ) This agrees with another plate , which sayB , that the oppressed shall go free and they that have been oppressed in their turn . " ( Loud cheers . ) God tells yon that , and I believe it to be true . Now the
presuit Government may tell you what they please , and they may try to throw dust in your eyes , and throw a veil over our remarks , to binder the light from entering your hearts —( hear )—but while God ' s word is true , those words will make us free if we attend to them . ( Cheers . ) Wbat are we to do then ? ( Loud cries of fight , fight , fight ) I'll tell you what we are to da The people must become united together—( hear , hear)—in one mind . Let not religious sentiments divide yoar Interests . iCheers . ) Whatsoever your religious sentiments are , look for peace here and not so much up yonder ,- look for happiness here as well as in the future . Look for comfort here as well as in days to coma Look for happiness in your cottage , by your firesides , and happiness with your families ; look to
the lessening of the hours of labour ; look for the overthrow of the present wretched system . Your will will be God ' s will , and God ' s will is , that the people should be free , ( Cheers . ) What are we to do ? Wo are to be free , and no mistake ; we are to be free , and no doubt about it ; we are to be fr « . e , whatever the cost ; we are to ba free , however great the struggle ; we are to be free , however mighty the contest ; vre are to be free , however great the difficulty to accomplish it ; we are to be free , though we wade through streams of blood . ( Cheers . ) Though we pass through streams of trouble , we are to be free by the best means we can ; we are to be free , by the only means we have left ( Cheers . ) Now the people may ask , what are the means left ? I am not going to blink the question ; I
am not going to teach yon a doctrine I don't believe myself .- ( Hear . ) We will go back again to the old book , and I will ask you , or any minister ,, whether we read in either ancient or modern history , of any nation in bondage becoming free , without tbe use of physical force , ( Hear , bear , and cheers . ) Can yon read of such a thing ? ( No , no . ) What was God '« word to the people of Israel , when they were in captivity by the Midianites ? God raised np Gideon , and the blast of the ram ' s horn , united with the people ' s voice , fetched the walls of Jericho down . ( Loud and continued cheering . ) Did it ? ( Aye , aye . ) Areyou # ure ? What saith the passage ? It says , every one of them went went straight up before him , and took , what he wanted ( Renewed cheering . ) How ia it ? Why that every man of Israel , when they saw the walls fall down , they
knew it was right , they went in at the opening , and took what they needed . rGreat cheering . ) Are you ready to do it ? You will have the chance ^ you will have the chance—( immense cheering )—and . they are giving you the chance , and yon will have to embrace the chance ; I say not when . I say not how soon , but an opportunity will come ; an opportunity must come ; it is God ' s will to overthrow tyranny . ( Cheers . ) God uses hi 3 own people to cast down oppressors . In eonelusion , I beg yon will read the last Psalm but one , and it tells you to bind the King in chains , and to execute the judgment of righteousness , and this honour have all the saints . Be yon saints , lover * and practisers of God ' s trath , and God will honour and bless your causa He concluded by seconding the resolution . ( Long continued cheering . )"
Now does not Mr . William Taylor , in this speech , published in the Northern Star , in the most direct and express terras , tell the people they are injured and oppressed by not ^ iaving property divided equally among them ? Does he not call upon them to arm themselves , to gain the supposed rights , of which it is alleged they are deprived , by force—to seize the property which now belongs to others ? If any persons read this speech and approve of it , must they not prepare to act on it ? And it is held out that the time will soon arrive when they will have a thance—that is , there is to be a general rising , and preparations are to be made for that rising . There Is only one other article to which I will refer . It consists of a speech alleged to have been delivered at a meeting of Chartists at Stockport , bj Mr . Bro&terre O / Brivn , ind it is made the last coumt
of the information ; It is said to form part of a long and most eloquent speech . Yeu will observe all the speakers are introduced with ? pplause , which ia said to have been thundering and tremendous ; or with expressions denoting that the sentimeuta they delivered met ( with the most enthusiastic reception . Now , Mr . Bronterre O'Brien , in the course of his speech , was extremely severe on the middle orders of society—muster manufacturers and others , and ho proceeds thus : — " The mill-owners leaguing with Government ; have stopped the fectories , thrown thsir hands out of permanent employment , and thus tempted them to join the army , for the purpose of killing the Chartists , at the rato of one shilling a day , and a penny for beer . ( Hear and laughter . ) In this predicament they must not blame „? « , * <„ , ., ;_ „ ,. „ ,, . .
the Quten , because she knew nothing about them , only through her Ministers , who hold her by the leading strings ; nor were the Lords to blame , they were a mere set of women in breeches ;—( laughter )—nor were the House of Commons , which controls the whole , so much to blame . Then if it be not the Queen , nor tlie Lords , nor the House of Commons , who were they then to blame for any acts of injustice that may yet take placo , not her Majesty ' s Ministers even , for he believed they would befriend the people if they durst Then who was it ? Why , the upper and middle classes of society , who select the Houae . of Commons . They in their turn select the Ministry , tbe Ministry appoint tfca magistrates , and ? ne magistiaMand ifid ^ fcelasi ; n&u goadvtUa people fi ^ r-l I ft ^ he wTOr ^ of nia travels he fod hadan
. . opportune of heariiijf the feeling ; of th $ middle claw t&wards the Chartists , aud in ane of the hotels , a certain middle class man , adverting to Dr . Taylor , at Birmingham , was blowing up the Ministry for bailing instead of putting down the Chartists , by hanging their leaders and shooting their supporters . ( Shame . ) But if that Govtrnmont dare to hung the Chartists , if they dare hang a Chartist , for every one , ten of other classes would be hung before their own doors . ( Hear . ) Having depicted the evils and tyranny of a middle class Government as in France , where no Democratic Journal wa 3 allowed to exist , nor more than nineteen persons to be members of any political association lest the parties be apprehended , he advertud to thomitional holiday to be observed in case representatives of tho
ventuble public were not recognised by the luws of the land . Let # Ot the anvil be struck within the length and brcadufof the land . Let not a needle nor a spade —bo nsed , " nnles 3 to dig some tyrant ' s gra . v « . Let not a shuttle move unless to weave the winding sheet of soraVmonstur-robber , some profit-monger , who dared to attack the people ' s Parliament , all will then soon be over . " That . I suppose , was the National Convention , of which Mr . B . O'Brien was a member . Now t ' . ie following part of this article is an incitement indirectly but clearly expressed , to interfere with the administration of justice in this country , and by violence to put an end to judicial proceedings . You will see tho orator sometimes assumes an ironical tone , but that he in the dearest and most intelligible manner exhorts
his hearers that if they should , he prosecuted for any offcice ag . iinst the laws , that they should meet in large numbers , that they should try to overawe the courts of justice , and prevent Judges and Juries from manfully discharging their duty . Anything worse than this I have never seen , because in the most violent times every rank in the English nation have been accustomed to regard with the most profound veneration those met to administer laws in courts of justice . The speaker continued— " He had tome news to tell them , not that ho told them to do the same , only having heard it there was surely no more harm ia telling news than selling it . ( Laughter . ) Now the people of Newcastle had decided upon adopting a certain plan during the assizes , not that he advised
the meeting to follow it , no not by any means . When their representatives are brought up for trial , unless contrary . ' orders come down from the Convention , the brave men in the north are determined on that day to have a universal strike ( same here ) , and assembling round ihe trial house in their mighty strength will send w » rd to the Judge that th * y wcro standing outside waitmg for an acquittal , ( Cheers . ) The effect will be wondxou ^ . He did notf advise them to do so because it would be against the law , and they knew how loyal he was . He had now an important question to ask them ; were they up to the mark ? ( We are ) By that he infant , were they provided with all legal aud cou ^ jjUutional . 4 Pi ! fc | l 9 $ l « . x . and wherewith to briby . thest jgprS ^ ' ^^ pj ^^^ aon ^ era to their f « Bt % ? t : tXe * - ) ' 'T ^ Mwff ^ SBwm ' ' io plainer , but UiH ^ rM ppi . by thfe onflewfeadVliat he meant , wby . tlp » y would soon . As a legal man he could not thtyk . ^ aajiafr anything illegal , and besides he had heard that tliere were already twenty-seven warrants uf
one eorV ^ jr another against various members of the , Convention . Yet if he were ever before brought bvforje a magistrate , and he had not d ^ ne anything disloyal , at present , he would prove that they who were trying ium were themselves receivers of stolen goods . . ( Laughterand cheers . ) He bade them cast aside their braggadorfa , and by fierce looks and something shining nover their chimney pieces , to be determined ; for until something in earnest like this be done , the Government , who knew all about them through their spies , will take advanaag&of their want of preparedness , they having already , cannons of enormous calibre , fire arms , &c , manufacturing in large quantities . He was determined to " stand by his constituents to the death , reduced though he was by exertion in the public cause , and , if needs be , die in the last ditch in their defence . This able speaker retired amidst the deafening cheers of the populace . "
Now , is this not direct incitement to arm . They were to have something shining— $ bat is , the musket and bayonet ; they were to resist the law . and if the authorities attempted to check them in thuir wicked career then they wero to assemble in immense numbers , try tor , overawe the courts of justice , and to rescue their ^ confederates from merited punishment The article concludes by saying Mr . Roberts , the secretary . Mr . O'Connob—I beg to remind the learned Attorney-General that there is not a word of that which he is reading in the information . Tbe Attorn ey-Gkk era l—I am reading this passage to show the meaning and tendency of tbe libels . The Judge—Mr . O'Connor , you will also be at liberty to refer to other passages .
The Attorkett-Genkral continued . Now if Mr . CConnorrhad written . it U our painful duty to report a dangerous and diabolical speech represented to have been made by Mr . Brooterre O'Briea—the doctrines there held forth are most alarming « ad unconstitutional —we warn our readers not to be misled by them—ii . is our earnest desire that the law ihould be ebeyed and . respected , and that no man should try to enforce his opinions but by constitutional means—if such had been Mr . O'Connor ' s expressiona , might he not have availed himself of reading the whole of the article ? But instead of expressing disapprobation , the whole concludes in a strain of eulogy , praising what kad been done , and heldingiit up to general adoption . Now what are the ulterior measures recommended in the last paragraph ? It is cloar they were naming of insurrection and rebellion ; and th . ose ulter ior measures are supposed to be necessary , laudable .
and expedient . These are the publications I have thongnt it mj duty to submit to you for your consideration . You are to determine upon their character and their tendency . If you think this ia fair discussion against the defendant ? if yon think such publications can b » circulated without any mischief arising from them , acquit £ he defendant ; but if you should be of opinion that tliftse publications have a direct tendency to excite sedition , to lead to a disturbance of the pnbac peace , to an attack npon property , to an attempt to change by fores the . constitution of the country , then I think you will Lav © no hesitation in saying that this wm a prosecution proper to be instituted , and you will find a verdict of guilt / against Mr . O'Connor . An omcerfrom the Board of Starapa in London , was called to prove-the proprietorship of the Star , and th « fact of publication , on which the defendant intimated that he would admit both these points .
Mr . O'CONNOR then rising , addressed the Court and Jury to tho following purport : — May it please your Lordships—Gentlemen of the Jury , —Aft « fi . having heard the grave and comprehensive charge brought against me by the Attorneys General , and having again heard it read by tho Clerk of the Court , in order thereby to impress it doubly upon your minds , yon have no doubt decided that it would have been more to my advantage if I had entrusted my defence to wme of those Learned Gentlemen by whom I have the honour to be surrounded . Gentlomenr if I could separate a legal verdict from t eneral conviction , ^ ucb shoul d hav e been my course ; but inasmuch as I would prefer your verdict of guilty accompanied by a general conviction that , in other minds , the charge was not sustained , to your verdict of acquittal , accompanied by a general conviction
that the charge wa » well sustained ; for that reason , Gentlemen , and thai reason alone , I appear aa the advocate of my Q . wn character . I seek no protection for that , from imperfection in the pleadings , er from any shield which a legal quibble could throw around me . Gentlemen , my introduction to the Gentlemen of Yorkshire n « s been , rather of an unfortunate character , proceeding either from the misrepresentations of a corrupt and opposing daily and weekly pr&ja , and from two noy . very flattering introductions by my Learned Frimd % if he Will allow me the privilege of familiarity . Gentlemen , you may naturally suppose that I have a vindictive feeling , and much animosity towards the Attorney-General No , Gentlemen , I am not eTeri angry with him , but on the contrary , be has my thanks ; bnt , Gentlemen , my thanks are very much of the tfwoiptioa of those of the aick man % his
antagonist npon receiving the blow aimed at his life in the abcess , whereby he was restored to health and vigour . Gentlemen , I stand here , not as defending myself against this comprehensive charge , but I stand here as thu advocate of my character , my honour , and my party . ( Loud applause in the court , which was lustant y suppressed by the Judge threatening to commit the offenders , if It was repeated . ) Gentlemen , already I hear the Attorney-Geneiul whisperin « to the Learned Sergeant on bis right that those cheers are the result of the advice given in tlie Northern Star . Gentlemen , I cannot controul them , they are not to my taste , neither shall I benefit by them ; but , Gentlemen , it shows the weakness of his cause while he is thus obliged to grasp at a shadow
for its support . I shall not attempt to eradicate from your minds the long-seated and deep-rooted animosity which you have conceived and cherished towards roe . No , Gentlemen , I understand human nature too well to hope or expect in the short time allotted to me to deetr y the work of seven years ; but whatever your verdict may be , I will force you , I will compel you , after deliberation , to declare tho many errors into which you have fallen , and that while you pronounce me guilty in your jury-box , you will pronounce me innocent in your closet Gentlemen , I have already learned , from your countenances , thatyou have attached to me the odttim and the guilt af £ ivery word contained in the ' many speeches of otian which are set forth ia thi « botodle * information . * The incitement
to civil war , the spoliation of property , the profanation of the Holy Scriptures , and malevolence of every description , haa been laid to my charge , as if because cont iinud in my papi-r , I was morally as well aa legally liable for the expressions . The whole roll of accusation contains but one speech of my own , and although declared by the reporter to be au imperfect report yet ever ready and willing to stand by n > y own words ' without rotractien I will father it , and allow you to a'topt it ob my own ; and upon that speech I defy you to pronounce a verdict of guilty . Gentltmon of the Jury , in tho outset let us understand each other . We are of dift ' erent politics . I neither court your sympathy , desire your pity , or ask for your compassion . I am a Chartist-a democrat to the fu ; l-st
extent of the word ; and if my life hung upon the abandonment of those principles , I would scorn to hold it upon so base a tenure . This avowal is not likely to servo me in your estimation . Gentlemen , I shall not send any collateral issue to you . If satisfaction to the insulted law was all that was required , without reference to the insulting person , I should tako a very different course . Gentlemen , you will doubtless say that the . mild and conciliating spirit in which tha Attorney-General opened this prosecution , did not call for the description of defence which I may consider it my duty to offer . But bear in mind , thaj ; if the Attorney-General is not remarkable for any other quality he is ack
nowledged to be highly gifted with that of ingenuity , which is a classic term for turning chance and incident to the best advantage . Gentlemen , you who do not understood the character of the Attorney-General , may suppose that you have heard all ; but no ; for as you will presently find you have but heard the stray shots fro-u the sentinels , while the heavy fire of the reserve ia still to be poured from the Learned Gentleman ' s battery . Gentlemen , this apparent modesty is to court you and to deceive me ; but it shall not bave the desired effect I now grapple with the arguments of the first law officer of the Minister of the Government , not , as he is supposed of the Crown ,
no—He ' s the tool of the Ministf-r , not of tho Crown Made by hia sinilo and unmade by his frown . ' ( Laughter . ) Can anything more fully prove to you the fallacy of reporting , and the folly of judging from speeches , than would be furnished by the whole of the havangue of the Learned Gentleman . Gentlemen by a very slight perversion you may make a Whig speech a rory speech , or a Kadical speech of the Learned Gentleman ' s opening , while by taking it as a whole , I defy the best natured partisan to make common sense of it . ( Laughter . ) I meet him , Gentlemen . upon bis very first sentence . He says to ensure your verdict of guilty , that you must be satisfied of my intention to incite to insurkctiou . Now here we join issue ; and , however irrelevant any portion of my defence may appearI shall not
, send a single collateral fact for you * consideration . I pm the first law officer to his own law . And , Gentlemen , unless you come to the conclusion that one act bespeaks intention which every act through life has gone to negative , I defy you to find a verdict of guilty . I separate the charges into two heads , contained in font counts ; firstly , as to my own speech , upon winch I defy you to convict me , because there is nothing libellous in . it ; secondly , upon the reported speeches of others , you cannot find that they were published with any malicious intent . Thoss most anxioualy relied upon by the Attorney-General are the speeches delivered at Newcastle , and for which the speakers wore tried , and by the Learned Judge who now presides an acquittal was directed and the
, y were accordingly discharged from custody , and therefore , Gentlemen , I think you may fairly presume that ? u v " ^ Sl n sedltion * ° speak was not libel to publish . When I presently come to cite what are called authorities as to what constitutes libel , I shall show you that tho intont , and the malicious intent , must constitute the- gravamen , the head and front of the offending : and if I am able to negative the intent , not by one qualifying speech , not by ten , not by twenty , sixty , or a hundred , but by every speech in every number of the Northern Star , contained in thosetwo volumes , will you on your oaths . Gentlemen say thatin a moment , at Rochdale , I could have intended to have destroyed the fabric which bad taken me years to build ? Gentlemen , I shall not only read from
speeches , but letters bearing my signature , and from leading articles of my journal , and each and from all of these sources , I sh * ll establish myinnocenee as to the intent , if not to your satisfaction , to the satisfaction , I trust of the rest of the world . The first charge which the Attorney-General makes is that of a desire to violate the right of property , and ho thus brings a very grave charge , in which he accuses me of holding you up t > public view as usurpers of your inheritance , an inheritance of which he says I would deprive you for the purpose of dividing it amongst my own party . Now , upon this subject I must remind you that a person addressing public meetings generally touches upon various topics such as foreign policy , domestic policy , free trade , and the several questions which are usually discussedand
, out of my several observations upon those several topics tb *; Attomey-General taas made his sermon out of my setwaltexts . But , Gentlemen , lam not going to retract What I have said ; that if you have a right to the rent , and the tenant a remuneration for his capital , the poor man has an indefeasible right to the expenditure of his labour , which is his inheritance , and in return for that labour is entitled to all the comforts of life . Gentlemen , I have divided property into three heads : the rent which , however large , 1 allow to be the property of the landlord , the capital that of the tenant , and the right to work upon the soil , that of the labourers ; and I ever have contended , and ever shall contend , that the over great possession in one man ' s hands , added to the whimsical conditions annexed by lea-ing powers , has
lessened the property of the landlord , while it has altogether destroyed the inheritance of the labourer . Gentlemen , so far from plunder , my doctrine has gone to shew that the fair application of labour would increase landlords' property and the tenants' capital , while it would destroy all thought of physical force . But , Gentlemen , it is because I seek to protect this property for tbe labourer , not aa a boon capriciously doled out , but as bu just right , by the representation of Universal Suffrage , that I am held up as one ready to level society . Gentlemen , from myWt I shall presently shew you , not what my garbled , but what my real opinions are with regard to this description of property ; and let me tell you , that while in theae days the law s .-ts no limit to aristocratic plunder , in days of yore ,
when the condition of the poor was of paramount importance—in the barbarous days , as they wouid be called , of Henry IV ., in the seventh year of that reign , when the comfort of man was considered of more importance thai the comfort of sheep , an act was passed , declaring that bo much land should not be held in pasture as would throw the labourer out of employment . Now , Gvntlemen , I only ask to return to those barbarous times . The Learned Gentleman expresses hi * dread lest the licentious use of the press may lead to a curtailment of its legitimate prerogative , that is , if it should beustdforthe overthrow of the established Constitution . Gentlemen , I wish he had made a distinction between the Constitution and the administration of that Constitution ; but yet , nevertheless , I shall be able to show you that by the overthrow of the administration I contemplated the re-establishment of the Constitution . Gentlemen , what is tbe liberty of the press ?
It fights its battles sectionally ; the Tory press for a Tory Constitution ; the Whig press for a Whig Constitution ; the Northern Star for an Universal Constitution . Gentlemen : while they contend for the liberty of their respective parties , I contend for universal liberty , tempered by reason and discretion ; and not that liberty which would be Mkely to degenerate into licentiousness , in consequence of which licentiousness he sayi a new sect of Chartists has of late sprung up , denominating themselves " physical-force Chartist * " Gentlemen , let him ask himself whether the growth of this sect is a cause or an effect Gentlemen , I tell him from whence this Beet has sprung . It has sprung from the violation of Whig pledgee . It has sprung froin Whig duplicity , from Whig deceit and treachery , and not from the licentiousness of the Northern Star . Tfeis agitation , Ctartlc-nen , is the fruit produced by the K « fonm tree . 1 did not plant it , neither have I been in any way toe propagator © f Uwe « r « ralti whi « k w «* t *
hav » followed that nrea « u £ ' Lord Brongham . Lor * c ^ r Md Jt ** Rasst' 3 vSir John Cam Hol . bouse , and bir Francis Burdett ware their great Bchoolmastew t tne result of the presest agitation is the educatiw winch the people learnod from those political rrof : sots . Gentlemen , the Beamed Attomey-Genend hm attached nmch importance to tue fact »( tuoaa &p < fcciie * being reported without condemnation , and with the applause which followed . But , Gentlemen , I put it to you whether or not tbe Attorney-General himself , upc »
reading one of thoso eloquent orations which he is ia the habit of delivering , wonJdnotjudgeof their correctness ^ by'th ^ nnmbgr of' cheem . - ( Laughter . ) Oenttev * wiFyv ! F ' wo * r the' learned Attomey-Genural Ut read a good version of his speech in a friend : y paper , and unaccompanied with cheers , aud a misrepresentation of his eloquence in an adverse paper , accompanied with cheers : I ask you , wouid he not disdainfully throw from him the cheerless journal , and declare that that which contained the most approbation was th » best report . Gentlemen , this would bo bis legal mod * of judging of the value of bis own speech . If he was obliged to select one for a prosecution , he would select that which cut him short of a single cheer . ( Laughter . ) The Attonsey-Gtneral read just so much of nry speech as served his purpose , stopping short at the very point that would have served my purpose . Gentlemon , if he had road to the close , and if a commentary thus coming from a reporter be valuaMe , he would have found these words— " The above is a
mere outline of Mr . O'Connor ' s speech . " Gentlemen , I am now speaking of my own speech , which , if th » indictment is sustained , must have been a direct incitement to insurrection . The Attorney-General gives mo few chances , and I the more readily seize the one which he has inadvertently thrown in my way . I recollect . Gentlemen , upon one occasion I moved in the House of Commons that aa humble address be presented to her Majesty , praying for the rele-usc of Messrs . Graut and Bell , then confined in the Queen ' s Bench prism f « r libel . I reminded the Attorney-General tbat Grant and Bdl b . id only written the same sentiments which Lord . Milton and Mr . William Brougham had delivered is speeches ; wlic ' nthe Attorney-Genoral replied that ha would alway * make the distinction between word * peken ia the moment
• of excitement and wordt deliberately written ; and thatie would further wake aa allowance for words spoken after dinner . Gentlemen , although I stand npon my speech at Rocluiale , not claiming the indulgence offered by the Attorney-General in that respe-t , jet I do insist upon thu disihwtitm between words spoken by myse ' if , and w ^ rds spoken by others and merely published by me , and herein lies the great distinction . Now , Gentlemen , U-t us consider how man may be ' accused for fiig virtues as well us his vicps . The Attorney-General was compelled to lay before you my disapproval of tho sacred month contained in th& speech at Rochdale , and the credit which he would give me for the advice then given is , that the cessation from labour at that particular period , would
not lead to the ersis that I wished to bring about Gentlemen , upon that occasion , I ran the chance of forf .-iting my dear-bought aud justly-earnod popularity , by an opposition , to a measure wiiich I knew would retard tho glorious cause in which 1 am engaged . Tne Attorney-General is at liberty to put his construct-on upon my words . Gentlemen , will you convict me upoa construction ? If so , take my own words , and In my letter which I shall read to you upon the subject , these are my word s . ' I am opposed to the sacrrd month because it would lead to revolution , and you would be the greatest sufferers in that . rovolutio !) . Thusraymomlforceistr . ated . The itttorney-Ge ' neral parades his abhorence of phys i cal force by whetting your appetites for a conviction with liis yesterday ' s pararle of rude weapons and combustible matter , upon the trial of the Sheffield Cha * tists ia the other Court , in order that you may como to this ch irge against m . e in the vigour of your wrath , and i *
the freshness of prejudice . That was tho first act of his farce ; this is the second ; and ho tells you that the moral meetings of the people w . ould not be interfered with , excluding tbe fact that I had so far stretched tho moral power of the country as to render the physical resistance of the Government absolutely necessary for the continuation of its dominion . Gentlemen , wo are able to beat the Government by moral force , and tbo Government finding that , was compelled to arrest our moral progress by physical resistance . Ho has endeavoured to mix . mo up with every riot , tumult , and insurrection , that has taken pla-e ; and , in truth , in thoso days of the law ' s equnlity , I am only astonished that I am not now upon my trhl for high treason ; for as tbe law now stinds I cannot recognise the difference betwee n simple riot and tha crime of high treason . But is it not -wonderful that , with the severest scrutiny , and the most extensive surveillance u ] ion the part of the Government and its
spies , upon all the trials my name has never once been mentioned with tho slightest disrespect Neither will tho Learned Gentleman dare to tell you that it ia to be foun . l in the Black Book in Downtng-street , wita other tnarka than as a hater of oppression . Gentlemen , you shall this day j , ud « e whether or not I have shrunk from my principles—whether or not tho dread of trial before you aud the first law-officer of the Administration has induced me to procure an acquittal at the expense of my party . No , Gentlemon ; ho is already more indebted to the treason of those called leaders , the rejected of the Radicals , and the adopted of the Whigs , than he is to-the force of law for his temporary triumph . I will not bear hardly even upon the faults of those who have erred from judgment with the too
sangntnehope of prematurely staying corruption ; but I will denounce the pious wretch who having first eked out the money for his defence and future support then turned upon the hand that fed him ; and aimed a ' deadly blow at the cause which the miserable creature professed to serve . H « has him ' aii * is welcome to him . He has his Irish traitor ; he has his Birmingham traitors , mayor and magistrates ; he has his Newcastle Republican mayor , and I wish him joy of his associates . But , Gentlemen , it will reqnire more than the dread of the dungeon or the scaffold to divert me from the advocacy of the cause which I . have undertaken . And then the Attorney-General , with what he thinks a fair claim to support and justification for national ruin , tellsyou that ' povertymust sometimes occur under the mask
t > onign Government . I admit it , Gentlemen , if the reignof poverty forms the exception instead of tUe rule of tbeir office . But all has been poverty—all uas been desolation—all has been despair under the savage sway of that Government of whirh tbe Learned Gentleman may boastmgl y say . quorumpars magnafui . And would the Learned Gentleman venture to say in support of his argument , that his lias been a heaign Government ? No , he dare not do it Hi 3 next observation to which he attaches much importance is my commentary upon Bussey ' s remark , -That the musket npon one side would defend the bacon on the other side . " Now Gentlemen , I shall not shrink from tbe fair construction of this sentence ; it means that that rieht which .
would give the bacon would also give the arms , and that the arms would protect the bacon ; for while I never have placed much reliance upon a partiallyarmed community , I h : » ve ever laid it down as a principle that right gives arms , and arms protect right . " And ia it wonderful , " says the Learned Gentleman , " after such recommendations , that we should hear of the torch , the firebrand , the shell , and the ball cartridge ? " Gentlemen , we bave high authority—the authority laid down by Mr . Justice Erskioe , and yesterday cited by an eminent barrister upon circuit , thi » 5 Englishmen faaro a right to possess themselves of a whole armoury if they wish , * t \ d * > meet by night or l « y day for the discussion of their
gnevances . They admit tbe right of amis , and also the necessity of the torch , as without it their meeting by night would become ineffectual . Again the Learned Gentleman says that Mr . O'Connor has declared that - the Northern Star gives an impetus to tbe movement , and that its enormous circulation furnishes justification for this prosecution . Gentlemen , jg not this rather a prosecution for that enormous circulation than for the alleged offence ? Has it slipped the Attorney-General ' s memory that he entered Dudley by torchlight procession , when he- was a candidate for that borough and that hp tltreateue . i to prosecute the magistrate * if they daved to interfere with the legal meetings of the people ? He says that those intemperate harangues— ' those physical displays and tanfrtigbt meetings are' - calculated to excite the people to insurrection . He »«
mat tbe agitation , recently pursued , J »« had tnst effek What are the opinions of the celebrated Mr . Burke ? He said that he approved of agitation , that it is as the hue and cry which alarms the village and announces the thieu approach , and puts the Inhabitants upon their guard . ^ he expressions of public meetings would , if pr « - perly applied , have tended to a like result j therefore , those who made the public mind fully manifest » r » entitled to approbation , rather than reprobation . But , through the whole course of his long and ' laboured address , ha has attempted to attach the . report of every word spoken to me , even the : profanation of the Holy Scriptures , while , aa I have said before , I here throw down those two Tolumes , and defy him to show from them one single sentence in ridicule « f thos * Sawed Writings . Gentlemen , in defence of my principles , my r » ligio » , an * my loyalty , I tell you that I am a Democrat but not a
Revolutionist , a Christian but not a bigot , a subject bat never will be a slate . If , Gentlemen , your Yerdiet ia to be gjren in defence of the law and in reprobation « f crime , and if I can point out to you that there aw greater criminals than myself at large , will yuu be deluded by the sophistry of the Attorney-General , that the guilt of others furnishes no pretext for my acquittal f Will you not require him at least to some into Coart with clean hands , and to say that his end ha * been vengeance to the offended laws » Gentleman of th * Jtrr according to the acceptation of the term-libel , as lai * down by the Attorney-General and many Judges of th « laud , I will furnishthe Learned Gentleman with erar fn Vn *? * i * "VJpV * of eT « nr < Wly paper printed n England , i WlU now wad for yo « » l « tu , ia m the Northern Star , of a more dangerous teadencr tban anything h . has read from tha NortAsrn Ktor . ^ 3 bearing th . ominous naow « f Wat Tyler . CH « m Mb . O'Connor read tha following letter : —
* O THB BDHOa OF TUB M 0 MI 1 K * HBIUL * . Sir , —Fair play for the paopla of old Eaglaad . A * Parliament man an . going to thnmb-Mrewirie-bom S ? tons . Why ? Beaauso might u right j » d whwwi ant get onfs right , by law , w * rnuit ts *« '«* b / W " Tery goodI ; if * hafstheir ward , stand by , « d l . t ' sbX a fair light . Tha saonsr they stretah HewM 4 / jsJ& ( Cntomim wr fourth pag *^ fM xM
I0bkshibe Assizes. —=—≫•≫—
I 0 BKSHIBE ASSIZES . — = —>•>—
AMD LEEDS GENDRlL ADYEETISER . — ¦ ¦ ¦ - ¦ ¦ ¦¦ ¦ ' ; ¦ . ¦ ¦ - * . ¦ . . ... - ¦ . ¦ - ¦ w ¦ * * ..
VUij . ILL j $ O . 123 , ^ SA ^ I ^ Kffi ^ K ^^ SRC ^ Zt 1840 PRXCB FOURPENCE HA _ PP _ TOTV , or . * 7 - ~ -- _ " * ' " ' _ ¦ , ' fl- - _; i' . * ' " - - __^ * ve ? $ iiiiixngs per Qustrt ^ r * ' ~ ' . " ~ *
Northern Star (1837-1852), March 21, 1840, page unpage, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ns/issues/king-y1kbzq92ze2676/page/1/