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DISTRICT OF PE.W.W.SYLVANIA, TO WIT:
(L.S.) BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the first day of
" *** August, in the thirty-second year of the independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1807, Nathaniel Chapman, M. D. of the said district, hath deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor in the words following, to wit:
“SELECT SPEECHES, Forensick and Parliamentary, with prefatory remarks. By N. Chapman, M. D. honorary member of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, and member of the American Philosophical Society, &c. &c.
Ille regit dictis animos et pectora mulcet...virg.”
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.” And also to the act, entitled “An act supplementary to the act, entitled, ‘An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,’ and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other
D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the District of Pennsylvania.
OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
on THE TRIAL of the DEAN of st. As Apu for A LIBEt, BEFoRE MR. JUSTICE BULLER, ON THE SIXTH OF AuGUST, 1784.
THE case of the King against the Dean of St. Asaph, in which the two following speeches of Mr. Erskine, lately Lord Chancellor of England, were delivered, forms an era in English jurisprudence. In this cause, and consequent upon its decision, arose one of the most interesting and solemn discussions of a great constitutional question, which ever agitated the courts or the parliament of Britain. The Dean was indicted for a libel, and tried before Mr. Justice Buller, on the 6th of August, 1784. The publication, on which the indictment was founded, was written by that elegant and accomplished scholar and jurist, Sir William Jones, and a small number of the pamphlets were circulated by his friend and relative the Dean. On the trial of the Dean for the libel, Mr. Erskine delivered the first of the speeches which follow, in his defence. The judge, in summing up, told the jury, that there were only two questions for their consideration; namely, the fact of the publication, and the truth of the inuendos. VOL. II, B - - - - -
And the jury found the defendant guilty of publishing, but whether a libel or not, they did not find.
A motion was made by Mr. Erskine, at a succeeding term, for a new trial; and upon the rule to show cause, the second speech was delivered. The opinion of the court, pronounced by Lord Mansfield, with his accustomed eloquence and force, was against the application, and the new trial was refused.
The speech of Mr. Erskine, on the trial, is thought deserving of preservation, as a specimen of the persuasive and brilliant powers of this celebrated advocate; and his argument upon the motion for a new trial, as a masterly and admirable vindication of the rights of juries, upon rational, legal and constitutional grounds. The genius of the orator is visible throughout both these productions, and we present them as strikingly displaying those practical and brilliant talents, which fit their possessor for the various scenes of the forum.
GENTLEMEN OF THE JURy,
MY learned and respectable friend (for so upon this as upon all other occasions, he has approved himself) having informed the court that he means to call no other witness to support the prosecution, you are now in possession of the whole of the evidence, on which the prosecutor has ventured to charge my reverend friend and client, the Dean of St. Asaph, with a seditious purpose to excite disloyalty and disaffection to the person of his king, and an armed rebellion against the state and constitution of his country; which evidence is nothing more than his direction to another to publish this dialogue containing in itself nothing seditious, with an advertisement prefixed to it containing a solemn protest against all sedition. ... The only difficulty therefore, gentlemen, which I feel in resisting so false and malevolent an accusation,
is to be able to repress the feelings of my mind, exci
ted by its folly and injustice, within those bounds