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state it plainly and fairly before you. I think there are conclusions to be drawn from it, which you cannot doubt. I think you cannot doubt that there was a conspiracy formed for the purpose of committing this murder, and who the conspirators
“ That you cannot doubt that the Crowninshields and the Knapps were parties in this conspiracy.
“That you cannot doubt that the prisoner at the bar knew that the murder was to be done on the 6th of April.
“That you cannot doubt that the murderers of Captain White were the suspicious persons seen in and about Brown Street on that night.
“That you cannot doubt that Richard Crowninshield was the perpetrator of that crime.
“That you cannot doubt that the prisoner at the bar was in Brown Street on that night.
“ If there, then it must be by agreement, to countenance, to aid the perpetrator: and if so, then he is guilty as a principal.
“Gentlemen,--Your whole concern should be to do your duty, and leave consequences to take care of themselves. You will receive the law from the court. Your verdict, it is true, may endanger the prisoner's life, but then it is to save other lives. If the prisoner's guilt has been shown and proved beyond all reasonable doubt, you will convict him. If such reasonable doubts of guilt still remain, you
will acquit him. You are the judges of the whole
You owe a duty to the public, as well as to the prisoner at the bar. You cannot pretend to be wiser than the law. Your duty is a plain, straightforward one. Doubtless, we would all judge him in mercy. Towards him, as an individual, the law inculcates no hostility; but towards him, if proved to be a murderer, the law, and the oaths you have taken, and public justice, demand that you do
“With consciences satisfied with the discharge of duty, no consequences can harm you. There is no evil that we cannot either face or fly from, but the consciousness of duty disregarded. “A sense of duty pursues us
It is omnipresent like the Deity. If we take to ourselves the wings of the morning and dwell in the utmost parts of the seas, duty performed or duty violated is still with us for our happiness or our misery. If
the darkness shall cover us, in the darkness as in the light our obligations are yet with us. We cannot escape their power nor fly from their presence. They are with us in this life, will be with us at its close ; and in that scene of inconceivable solemnity which lies yet farther onward, we shall still find ourselves surrounded by the consciousness of duty, to pain us wherever it has been violated, and to console us so far as God may have given us grace to perform it."
There is no need to enhance the merit of eloquence like this; but I recollect to have heard that this immense effort was made immediately after a journey of unparalleled rapidity and fatigue which would have completely exhausted the energy of any man but Mr. Webster.
“O RARE Ben Jonson !” 80 said his contemporaries, and those contemporaries the greatest dramatic poets, the greatest poets of any age or clime, “O rare Ben Jonson !” says his tomb in Westminster Abbey; “O rare Ben Jonson !" echo we. But I doubt much whether our praises be not founded on very different qualities from those which were hailed with such acclaim by the marvellous assembly of wits who congregated at the “Mermaid.” Hear what Beaumont, in his celebrated epistle to Jonson, says of that fair company. He writes to him from the country:
~ Methinks the little wit I had is lost
Since I saw you; for wit is like a rest
With the best gamesters. What things have we seen
These men, admirable judges although they were, seem to have regarded with what we cannot but think an over-admiration the art which wanted the crowning triumph of looking like nature, and the learning, which displayed rather than pervading, overlays and encumbers his finely-constructed but heavy and unwieldy plays. We of this age, a little too careless perhaps of learned labour, would give a whole wilderness of Catilines and Poetasters, and even of Alchemists and Volpones, for another score of the exquisite lyrics which are scattered carelessly through the plays and masques whichstrange contrast with the rugged verse in which they are embedded -seem to have burst into being at a stroke, just as the evening primrose flings open her fair petals at the close of the day. Lovelier