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more commanding stations of human lifebut the common lot of mankind furnishes no such means of conservation. With reference to them, the domus æterna is a mere flourish of rhetoric; the process of nature will speedily resolve them into an intimate mixture with their kindred dust; and their dust will help to furnish a place of repose for other occupants in succession."

who, while filling at the bar its first offices, and during his long possession of the most dignified of all civil positions under the crown, had cast upon him the duty of keeping alive the social spirit of the bar; encouraging its young and timid aspirants; disarming jealousies, and soothing the animosities which its contests may engender; and preserving its common conscience and feeling of honour, by enThese seem serious matters of disquisition couraging the association of its members in for advanced age; but Lord Stowell, like his convivial enjoyments under the highest ausbrother, was too vividly assured of the life be- pices. But Mr. Twiss gives the true excuseyond the grave to contemplate the close of this we can scarcely admit it as a perfect justificalife and the subsequent decay of his mortal tion-for a dereliction of that duty which forframe with anxiety; and though his faculties tune casts on her favourites--in the distaste of almost faded before he sunk into the tomb-Lady Eldon for society, and in the habits which gently as he had lived, and talked, and judged she acquired when obliged to practise rigid -his serenity of mind was undisturbed, and self-denial,-and asserts, we believe truly, that his grace of manner even to the last lingered about him.

In finally contemplating the history of these two brothers, we are struck with the harmonious interest which the picture derives from their unenvying, unbroken affection, which must have doubled to each the pride and success of his own life in that of the other. To William, John Scott, Lord Eldon, owed that he was not a tradesman in a country town; and year after year, as poverty pressed on him and briefs came slowly, he was indebted to the purse of one who felt the full value of money, but insisted on investing his own savings in his brother's fortune. Both sharing the same undoubting faith in the Established Church of their country; the same dread of innovation; the same recollections of their arduous, painful, merry school-days, and of the loveliness of the same university-they found in the differences of their tastes new grounds of mutual congratulation and pride,-Sir William delighting to speak of Sir John's almost incredible labours; while the attorney-general took credit for the civilian's gentle gayeties, and grew proud while listening to his social praise. Both were charged with an undue love of pecuniary accumulation; and, no doubt, they went firmly on, almost with equal steps, to the attainment of great wealth; but this not so much with an ignoble desire of mere money, as the steady wish to achieve an end of which the gain was only the symbol, and its amount the proof-part of that single aspiration to get the start of their fellows in the game of life, which disregarded all minor excitements, vanities, and successes, and placed Respice Finem' for its rule. The bounties of Lord Eldon were unostentatious, frequent, and sometimes princely; magnificently conceived and often dexterously hidden; and although the long possession of the Great Seal enabled him to rival the estate which Lord Stowell derived literally from the fortune of war, there seems no reason to doubt the sincerity of the regret with which he left the Court of Common Pleas-the quiet of which suited his disposition, while its dignified office of administering the law of real property by ancient forms now no more, proposed to him genial labours and serene decisions. Both, indeed, were chargeable with a want of the splendid hospitality befitting their station;-a fault the more to be regretted in the case of Lord Eldon,

"his domestic arrangements, from the time of his lady's death, were such as befitted his great fortune and high station." This was, however, too late to repair the opportunities lost during many years, of not only securing the love but sustaining the character of the profession, to which he was devotedly attached in all its branches.

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If, however, these great lawyers were not prodigal of extensive entertainments, they loved good cheer themselves, and delighted to believe that it was enjoyed by others. No total abstinence, nor half-abstinence, system was theirs. Whether the statement be true, which the genial biographer of Lord Stowell in the Law Magazine" makes, "That he would often take the refection of the Middle Temple Hall by way of whet for the eight o'clock banquet," we will not venture to assert; but we well remember, more than thirty years ago, the benignant smile which Sir William Scott would cast on the students rising in the dim light of their glorious hall, as he passed out from the dinner table to his wine in the parliament chamber; his faded dress and tattered silk gown set off by his innate air of elegance; and his fine pale features beaming with a serene satisfaction which bumpers might heighten but could not disturb. He and Lord Eldon perfectly agreed in one great taste-if a noble thirst should be called by so finical a name-an attachment to port wine, strong almost as that to constitution and crown; and, indeed, a modification of the same sentiment. Sir William Scott may possibly in his lighter moods have dallied with the innocence of claret-or, in excess of the gallantry for which he was famed, have crowned a compliment to a fair listener with a glass of champagne-but, in his sedater hours, he stood fast by the port, which was the daily refreshment of Lord Eldon for a large segment of a century. It is, indeed, the proper beverage of a great lawyer-that by the strength of which Blackstone wrote his Čommentaries-and Sir William Grant meditated his judgments-and Lord Eldon repaired the ravages of study, and withstood the shocks of party and of time. This sustaining, tranquillizing power, is the true cement of various labours, and prompter of great thoughts. Champagne, and hock, and claret, may animate the glittering superficial course of a Nisi Prius leader-though Erskine used to share his daily

bottle of port with his wife and children, and | In closing this imperfect notice of the lives complain, as his family increased, of the dimi- of Lord Eldon and Lord Stowell, we venture to nution of his residue-but port only can har-express a hope that Mr. Twiss's work, minutemonize with the noble simplicity of ancient ly tracing the course of one and reviving the law, or assuage the fervour of a great intellec- remembrance of the other, will fix the attention tual triumph. Each of the Scotts, to a very of his own profession on examples which have late period of his old age, was true to the gene- raised, and should help to sustain it. If so, rous liquor, and renewed in it the pastimes of the work will be in good season. Great as the youth and the crowding memories of life-long influence of the profession of the law is in this labour. It is related of Lord Stowell, that, a country, many causes have tended of late to short time before his death, having, in the deep- perplex the objects of its ambition, and to ening twilight of his powers, submitted to a tempt its aspirants to lower means of success less genial regimen, on a visit from his brother than steady industry and conduct free from he resumed his glass: and, as he quaffed, the stain. The number of inferior offices which light of early days flashed upon his over- suggest the appliances of patronage, and offer wrought brain-its inner chamber was irra- low stimuli to its hopes-the increase of numdiated with its ancient splendour-and he told bers, which weakens the power of moral conold stories with all that exquisite felicity which trol, while it heightens the turmoil of competi had once charmed young and old, the care-worn tion-and a feeling which pervades a certain and the fair-and talked of old friends and old class of members of the House of Commons, times with more than the happiness of middle that any measure which detracts from the re age. When Lord Eldon visited him in his sources of the bar tends to the public goodseason of decay at his seat near Reading, he have endangered the elevation of its character, sometimes slept at Maidenhead on his way; in the maintenance of which the interests of and on one occasion, having dined at the inn, order and justice are deeply involved. We and learned that the revising barristers were can conceive of no more vivid proof of the im staying at the house, he desired his compli-portance of preserving a body which embraces ments to be presented to them, and requested the favour of their company to share his wine. He received the young gentlemen-very young compared with their host-with the kindest courtesy; talked of his early struggles and successes as much for their edification as delight--and finished at least his own bottle of port before they parted. Surely no lighter or airier liquor could befit such festal hours of honoured old age, or so well link long years together in the memory by its flavours!

within it alike the younger sons of our nobility and the aspirants of the middle classes; and offers to all the opportunity of achieving its highest and most lasting honours, than that which the history of the two sons of the good coal-fitter of Newcastle exhibits: nor any happier incitement to that industry which is power, and to that honour which is better than all gain, than the example it presents to those who may follow in their steps.





In consenting to revise and publish the following Speech, I trust the circumstances attendant on the trial in which it was delivered will be found to justify an exception to the usual abstinence of Counsel from interfering with the publication of speeches delivered at the bar. The peculiarity of the occasion-the prosecution of an eminent publisher of unblemished character at the instance of a person who had been himself convicted of blasphemous libel, on a similar charge-and the nature of the question which that prosecution involved, between Literature and the Law of Libel-may render the attempt of the defendant's advocate, to defeat the former and to solve the latter, worthy of more consideration than it could command either by its power or its success. Observing that the case has been unavoidably deprived, by the urgency of political topics and electioneering details, of the notice it would have received from the press at a calmer season; and being anxious that the references necessarily made to matters of solemn interest and of delicate relation should not be subject to the misconception attendant on any imperfect reports, I have thought it right to take on myself the responsibility of presenting to the public, as correctly as I can, the substance of that which I addressed to the jury. The necessary brevity of the reports of the trial, which has partly induced this publication of the speech for the defendant, also renders it proper to give a short account of the circumstances which preceded it.

In the month of April, 1840, an indictment was preferred against Mr. Henry Hetherington, a bookseller in the Strand, at the instance of the Attorney-general, for selling certain numbers of a work entitled "Haslam's Letters to the Clergy of all Denominations," sold each at the price of one penny, and charging them as libels on the Old Testament. The cause came on to be tried before Lord Denman, in the Court of Queen's Bench, on 8th December, 1840, when the defence was conducted, with great propriety and talent, by the defendant himself, who rested it mainly on a claim of unqualified right to publish all matters of opinion, and on the argument, that the work charged as blasphemous came fairly within the operation of that principle. Mr. Hetherington was, however, convicted, and ultimately received judgment, under which he underwent an imprisonment of four months in the Queen's Bench prison.

While this prosecution was pending, Mr. Hetherington appears to have adopted the design of becoming in his turn the Prosecutor of several booksellers for the sale of the complete edition of Shelley's Works, which had been recently issued by Mr. Moxon in a form similar to that in which he had published the collected works of the greatest English poets. He accordingly commissioned a person named Holt, then a compositor in his employ, to apply for the work at the shops of several persons eminent in the trade, and thus succeeded in obtaining copies of Mr. Moxon, of Mr. Fraser, and of Mr. Otley, or rather of the persons in their employ. On the sales thus obtained, indictments were preferred at the Central Criminal Court against the several vendors, which, with a similar indictment against Mr. Marshall, doubtless preferred by the same Prosecutor, were removed by certiorari at the instance of the defendants, and set down for trial by special juries. Mr. Moxon felt that, as the original publisher of the edition, he ought to bear the first attack; and therefore, although some advantage might have been gained by placing the case of a mere vendor before his own, he declined to use it, and entered his own cause the first of the series which were to be tried in Middlesex. These causes were called on for trial at the sittings after Hilary term; but the prosecutor was not prepared with the Attorney-general's warrant to pray a tales to supply the default of the special jury, and as the counsel for the defendant did not think it right to expedite his proceedings by doing so themselves, the cause went over, and ultimately came on for trial on Wednesday 23d June, when nine special jurymen appeared, and the panel was completed by a tales prayed for the prosecution.

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The indictment against Mr. Moxon, which the others exactly resembled, charged that he, being an evil-disposed and wicked person, disregarding the laws and religion of this realm, and wickedly and profanely devising and intending to bring the Holy Scriptures and the Christian religion into disbelief and contempt, unlawfully and wickedly, did falsely and maliciously publish a scandalous, impious, profane, and malicious libel of and concerning the Christian religion, and of and concerning the Holy Scriptures, and of and concerning Almighty God," in which were contained certain passages charged as blasphemous and profane. It then set forth a passage in blank verse, beginning, “They have three words: well tyrants know their use,

well pay them for the loan, with usury torn from a bleeding world!—God, Hell, and Heaven;" and after adding an innuendo, "meaning thereby that God, Hell, and Heaven, were merely words," proceeded to recite a few more lines, applying very coarse and irreverent, but not very intelligible comments to each of those words. It then charged, that the libel contained, in other parts, two other passages, also in verse, and to which the same character may be justly applied. It lastly set forth a passage of prose from the notes, the object of which seems to be to assert, that the belief in the plurality of worlds is inconsistent with "religious systems," and with "deifying the principle of the universe;" and which, after speaking in very disrespectful terms of the statements of Christian history as "irreconcilable with the knowledge of the stars," concludes with the strange inconsistency pointed out by Lord Denman in his charge, (if the author's intention was to deny the being of God,) "The work of His fingers have borne witness against them."

The case for the prosecution was opened by Mr. Thomas with a judicious abstinence from any remark on the motives or object of the Prosecutor, and without informing the jury who the Prosecutor was. He stated several cases, and dicta to establish the general proposition, that a work tending to bring religion into contempt and odium is an offence against the common law, and, among others, that of Mr. Hetherington; read, besides the indicted passages, several others of a similar character, all selected from the poem of "Queen Mab;" eloquently eulogized the genius of Shelley, and fairly admitted the respectability of the defendant; and concluded by expressing the satisfaction he should feel if the result of this trial should establish, that no publications on religion should be subject for prosecution in future. He then called Thomas Holt, who proved the purchase of the volume for twelve shillings at Mr. Moxon's shop; and who also proved, on cross-examination, that he made the purchase and others at the desire of Mr. Hetherington, whom he understood to be the Prosecutor in this and the succeeding causes.

The success of such a prosecution, proceeding from such a quarter, gives rise to very serious considerations; for although, in determining sentences, Judges will be able to diminish the evil, by a just discrimination between the publication of the complete works of an author of established fame, for the use of the studious, and for deposit in libraries, and the dissemination of cheap irreligion, directed to no object but to unsettle the belief of the reader-the power of prosecuting to conviction every one who may sell, or give, or lend any work containing passages to which the indictable character may be applied, is a fearful engine of oppression. Should such prosecutions be multiplied, and juries should not feel justified in adopting some principle of distinction like that for which I have feebly endeavoured to contend, they must lead to some alteration in the law, or to some restriction of the right to set it in action. It will, I think, be matter of regret among many who desire to respect the Law,. and to see it wisely applied, that the question should have arisen; but since it has been so painfully raised, it is difficult to avoid it; and if the following address should present any materials for its elucidation, it will not, although unsuccessful in its immediate object, have been delivered entirely in vain. T. N. T.

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of the defendant was as an adopted daughter; and who, dying, committed the interests which he left her in the products of his life of kindness to my charge. Would to God that the spirit which pervaded his being could decide the fate of this strange prosecution-I should only have to pronounce his name and to receive

Ir has sometimes been my lot to express, and much oftener to feel, a degree of anxiety in addressing juries, which has painfully diminished the little power which I can ever command in representing the interests committed to my charge; but never has that feel-your verdict. ing been so excited, and so justified, by any occasion as that on which it is my duty to address you. I am called from the Court in which I usually practise, to defend from the odious charge of blasphemy one with whom I have been acquainted for many years-one whom I have always believed incapable of wilful of fence towards God or towards man-one who was introduced to me in early and happy days, by the dearest of my friends who are gone before me-by Charles Lamb-to whom the wife

It has not been thought necessary to the argument to set out these passages; as it proceeds on the admission, that, separately considered, they are very offensive both to piety and good taste.

Apart from these personal considerations, there is something in the nature of the charge itself, however unjustly applied to the party accused, which must depress a Christian advocate addressing a Christian jury. On all other cases of accusation, he would implore the jurors, sworn to decide between the accuser and the defendant, to lay aside every prepossession-to forget every rumour-to strip themselves of every prejudice-to suppress every affection, which could prevent the exercise of a free and unclouded judgment; and, having made this appeal, or having forborne to make it as needless, he would regard the jury-box as a sacred spot, raised above all encircling

under which he has suffered, odious by sanctioning the odious application which he contemplates; and that at his bidding you should scatter through the loftiest and serenest paths of literature, distress, and doubt, and dismay, awarding him that success which, “ if not victory, is yet revenge."

The charge which Mr. Moxon is called upon to answer is, that with a wicked intention to bring the Holy Scriptures and the Christian religion into contempt, he published the volume which is in evidence before you, and which is

influences, to which he might address the-that you should aid him to render the law arguments of justice and mercy with the assurance of obtaining a decision only divested of the certainty of unerring truth by the imperfection of human evidence and of human reason. But in this case you cannot grant I cannot ask-the cold impartiality which on all other charges may be sought and expected from English juries. Sworn on the Gospel to try a charge of wickedly and profanely attempting to bring that Gospel, and the holy religion which it reveals, into disbelief and contempt, you are reminded even by that oath -if it were possible you could ever forget-characterized as a libel on that religion, on of the deep, the solemn, the imperishable in- the Scriptures, and on Almighty God. I speak terest you have in those sacred things which advisedly when I say the whole volume is thus inthe defendant is charged with assailing. The dicted; it must be so considered in point of feelings which such a charge awakens are justice-it is so charged in point of form. The not like those political differences which it is indictment, indeed, sets forth four passages, delightful sometimes to forget or to trample torn violently asunder from their context; yet on; or those local partialities which it is en- it does not charge them as separate libels, but nobling to forsake for a wider sphere of con- as portions of one "impious, blasphemous, templation-or those hasty opinions which the profane and malicious libel," in different parts daily press, in its vivid course, has scattered of which the selected parts are found. Now over our thoughts, and which we are proud these are not all to be found even in one poem, sometimes to bring to the test of dispassionate for the first three being in poetry, the last is reflection or those worldly interests which, taken from a mass of prose appended to the if they sway the honourable mind at all, in- first poem of "Queen Mab," and intervening cline it to take part against them;-but the between it and a poem entitled " Alastor," emotions which this charge enkindles are in- which is the next in the series. And if this tertwined with all that endears the Past and were not the form of the record, can it be peoples the Future-with all that renders this doubted that, in point of justice, the scope, the life noble by enriching it with the hope of that object, the tendency of the entire publication, which is to come. If the passages which must be determined before you can decide on have been read to you-torn asunder from the the guilt or innocence of the party who has connection in which they stand-regarded with- thus published the passages charged as blasout reference to the time, the object, the mode of phemous? Supposing some question of law their publication,-should array you at this mo- should be raised on the sufficiency of the inment almost as plaintiffs, personally wronged dictment in which they are inserted, and they and insulted, against their publisher, I must should be copied necessarily for the elucidation not complain; for I shall not be provoked, of the argument in one of the reports in which even by the peculiarity of this charge, to de- the decisions of this court are perpetuated; fend Mr. Moxon by a suggestion which can would the reporter, the law-bookseller, the violate the associations which are intertwined officer of the court, who should hand the with all that is dear to you. He would rather volume to a barrister, be guilty of blasphemy? submit to the utmost consequences which the Or if they should appear in some correct report, selfish recklessness of this prosecution could partaking of a more popular form, and that reentail, if you should sanction, and the court port should be indicted as containing them, hereafter should support, its aim; he would what form would the question of the guilt or inrather be severed from the family whom he nocence of the publisher assume? Would it cherishes, and from the society of the good not be, whether he had been honestly anxious and the great in our literature, which he is to lay before the world the history of an unprivileged to share; than he would obtain im- exampled attempt to degrade and destroy the munity by a recourse to those weapons which law, under pretence of asserting it; or whether the prosecutor would fain present to his choice. he was studious to disseminate some fragNeither will I, notwithstanding the anticipation ments of strange and fearful audacity, and of my learned friend, ask you to palter with had professed to report an extraordinary trial, your consciences, and, because you may doubt only as a pretext to cover the popular dissemior deny the policy of the law which is thus nation of blasphemy? And would not the set in action, invite you to do other than ad- form, the commentary, the occasion, the price, minister justice according to your oath and all be material in deciding whether the work your duty. I take my stand on Christian were laudable or guilty-whether, as a wnole, ground; I base my defence on the recognised it tended to good or to evil? These passages, law; and if I do not show you that the Christian-like details and pictures in works of anatomy ity, which the prosecutor most needlessly presumes to vindicate, and the law which with unhallowed hands he is striving to pervert, justify your verdict of acquittal, I am content that you should become the instruments of his attempt to retort the penalties of his own sentence on one who never wronged him even in thought

and surgery, are either innocent or criminal, according to the accompaniments which surround them, and the class to whom they are addressed. If really intended for the eye of the scientific student, they are most innocent; but if so published as to manifest another intention, they will not be protected from legal

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