Abbildungen der Seite

tuated. The adherence to this prisciple will be a blessing to France ; but, if would make the work of legislating upon not, they will be the greatest of curses; the subject very short and simple. It for they may become the convenient would make the life of a writer safe and screen for corrupt and cruel Judges, the pleasant; and it would make the press a most dreadful as well as the most base inbiessing to France; the protector of inno- struments of an artful tyranny, under the cence and the scourge of the wicked, how- names and forms of liberty and law. If ever bigh their station. But, if the law Juries are what they ought to be, they are be vague in its descriptions of offences by a safe-guard against the partiality, the corthe press; if it deal in general terms; if it ruption, and the cruelty of Judges ; but, if telk in a loose way about inflammatory not, they are the greatest encouragement publications; if it prate about the harmony to partiality, corruption, and cruelty in of society and the peace of families, with Judges; because, where there is a jury, out laying down some clear, distinct, un- fitted to the purpose of such Judges, the changeable principle ; if it leave a latitude blame, if any be imputed, falls upon the for interpretation, construction, and discre- Jury from the public; and as they melt tion, there may as well be no law at all.- away out of sight immediately, there reThe French are, too, it seems, to have mains no object for public indignation to Juries in their Court of Justice; and, it fix upon. A Judge, without a Jury, is stated, in the orations preceding the knows that the eyes of the public will be Gode Napolcon, that it was Napoleon him- fixed on him only; and, if disposed to act self, whose pertinacity produced that part unjustly, he will be under much greater reof the Code. The French had Juries straint, than if he had a Jury to serve bim under Napoleon ; so that by his fall they in quality of 'scupe goat. The object of have not gained this part of their Consti- the Jury has been held to be that of the tution. But I, for my part, see nothing safety of parties against the partiality of gained here, unless care be taken as to the Judge ; but, if it be so contrived in the formation of such Juries ; for we France as to make the Jury a mere tool in know, from sad experience, that Juries the hands of the Judge, the state of things may be made the instruments of the will be infinitely worse than if there were blackest injustice and most hellish cruelty. no Jury at all. The legislators of France, Hume tells us, that Judge Jeffries, whom therefore, should take great care, as I hope he calls the bloody, spread the western they will, that the source of their Juries counties over with gallowses, and gibbets, be pure; that they be not composed of and mangled carcasez ; but, he seems to men destitute of understanding, and of the forget the bloody Juries, who aided him in powers of discrimination; that they be imthe work of murdering their neighbours. partially taken amongst all the persons, fit Russell and the gallant Sidney were told, for Jurymen, in the district or department; that they had been found guilty by a Jury that all these be compelled to serve in their of their country; but the Parliament, at a regular turn, unless prevented by somo subsequent period, declared the verdict to sufficient cause ; and that they shall not be corrupt and infamous, and reversed the be exposed, either directly or indirectly, to acts of attainder, grounded

any undue bias, or corrupt influence.dict.-Numerous other instances might The Code Napoleon, criminal as well as be produced from our own history; and, civil, is admirable. It was framed by the therefore, it is not enough to tell me, that wisest men in Europe. It took a long the French people are to have juries to time and infinite labour in the forming. protect their lives and properties." I must But, unless this point as to Juries be very know first, how these Juries are to be carefully attended to, liberty and property formed; I must see what security there is will be mere names; mere sound without for a man's being tried by persons impar- any practical benefit ; and, as it must be tially called together ; I must see whether the wish of every real friend of freedom, all the persons, in a district, fit to be that the people of France should he really Jurors, are to be called and compelled to free, it is to be hoped, that this importare serve in their regular turn; I must see matter will receive the greatest attention. whether it be impossible to pack, as we call it, these deciders npon the guilt or

LORD COCHRANE. The dificulties innocence of those who are brought to which occurred to my mind as to this Nobletrial. If this be the case, Juries man's case, have been completely removed


that ver

by the explanation which I have seen in and as I firmly believe him to be. Until the public newspapers, and which was read his Lordship has an opportunity of yerifying in Court by his Lordship, when he was bis innocence completely, which I have no brought up to hear judgment pronounced doubt he will be soon able to do to the satisagainst him.- I have now no doubt what faction of every candid mind, I have given ever of his Lordship's innocence. The below the statement which he read in only disagreeable sensation which remains Court, and the additional affidavit, by with me, is the dread of his being made to which his Lordship confirms all that he suffer, to its full extent, the disgraceful pu- formerly said on the subject, and clears up nishment which his Lordship has been sen some important points which were not extenced to endure. From what I know of plained on the trial. I am glad to find, his Lordship's mind, I am satisfied that he that the effect already produced upon the is far from being depressed on account of public mind by this statement is highly his situation. A consciousness of his own favourable to his Lordship, and I am coninnocence, is sufficient to bear him up, fident in the expectation, if the facts there under the worst that can befall bim. But stated are supported by the affidavits, whicla it is impossible to prevent those who are his Lordship will now have an opportunity friendly to his Lordship feeling deeply, and of bringing forward, that there is not a being overwhelmed with grief, at the idea man in the country (except indeed be enof his being the innocent victim of the tertains a personal enmity towards Lord crimes of others. His Lordship, as appears Cochrane) that will not join with me in from the Parliamentary Reports, has addres- opinion, that he is completely innocent. sed a Letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons, in which lie “ asserts his inno Court of KļNG's BENCH, JUNE 20. : “cence of the charge of which he has been After an arrest of judgment had been “convicted, and requests that he may be unsuccessfully moved for on the part of " allowed timely notice, and a full opportu- some of the other defendants,

nity of attending in this House, when Lord Cochrane addressed the Court, and

ever the subject may be brought before observed, that the attention with which “ it."-To this the Speaker immediately their Lordslips had listened to those who returned for answer, that, according to bad addressed them on behalf of the other " the usage of Parliament, timely notice, Defendants, emboldened him to hope that " and a full opportunity of attending, were they would indulge him with equal pa" always given to any member of this tience--although he did not address them “ House, before the consideration of a by Counsel, a circumstance which he im

question in which he was personally in- puted to the reason he bad assigned when * terested.”—It is somewhat consolatory, he had addressed their Lordships on a fortherefore, that my Lord Cochrane has still mer day. In order to occupy as little of an opportunity of being fully heard, and of their Lordships time as possible, he had bringing forward all the proofs of his inno- committed to writing, in as short a compass cence, wbich he was prevented doing during as he could, that statement which he conthe trial, hy the inattention of others, and ceived it necessary to the defence of his by the forins of Court, when his Lordship character to make. The Noble Lord then was brought up for judgment. It is to be read the following statement : hoped that Parliament will determine “ It has been my very great misfortune in this instance, as if the case of my Lord to be apparently implicated in the guilt of Cochrane were the case of every indi- others, with whom I never had any convidual member of the House ; for who nexion, except in transactions, so far as I among them can say, that he has not, was apprised of them, entirely blameless. during some period of his life, been in- I had met Mr. De Berenger in public nocently placed in a suspicious situation, company, but was on no terms of intimacy. through circumstances which he could with him. With Mr. Cochrane Johnstone neither foresee nor controul: and where is I had the intercourse natural between such the man who will pretend, that it never near relatives. Mr. Butt had voluntarily can be his fate to be brought to the bar of offered, without any reward, to carry on any Court of Justice by a train of occur- Stock transactions, in which thousands, as rences, similar to those in which Lord well as myself, were engaged, in the face Cochrane has been involved, and yet be of day, without the smallest imputation of as innocent as his Lordship asserts lie is, / any thing incorrect. The other four De


'feadınts were wholly unknown to me, nor mine ; that Berenger came to my house, have I ever, directly or indirectly, beld after returning trom his expedition ; und any communication with them. Of Mr. that my account of wiat paesed at this visit De Berenger's concern in the fraud, I have is contradicted by evidence.

Tl first no information, except such as arises out ground has been clearly explained away; of the late triil. With regard to Mr. it amounts to nothing more than that Johnstone and Mr. Butt, I am willing to which may happen to any man who has hope that they are guiltless. They re- money transactions. Mr. Butt voluntarily peatedly protested to me their innocence. made purchases and sales of stock for me, They did not dare to communicate any and having received a small loan of money such plan to me, if such was projected by from bim, I repaid him with Bank notes, them, or either of them; be they guilty, which he used for his own purposes. He then, or be they, one or both, crroneously says that he exchanged these notes, and convicted, I have only to lament, that, with that a part of the notes which he received out the most remote suspicion of their pro- in exchange he paid to Mr. Cochrane ceedings, if trey, or cither of them, were Johnstone, who states, that he gave them concerned in the fraud, I have, through my to Berenger in payment of some di awings ; bemeless intercourse with them been sub- but with this story, whether true or false, I jected to imputations, which might, with have no manner of concern, and conseequal justice, have been cast upon any man quently no wish to discuss it. In what We now bears me. Circumstanced as I way soever the notes, which were received am, I must kerp myself wholly unconnected in exchange for mine, reached De Berenwith those whose innocence cannot be so ger, I can only say that mine were given dear to me as my own.

Well bad it been to Mr. Butt in discharge of a bona fide for me if I had made this distinction debt; and I have no knowledge whatever

1:--I do not stand here to commend of the uses to which he applied them.myself—unhappily I must seek only for ex- Berenger's coming to my house I before calpation; but I cannot exist under the accounted for, upon the supposition of his load of dishonour, which even an unjust being unconcerned in the fraud; but is it judgment bas flung !pon me, My life has not ohvious that he might have come there been too often in jeopardy, to make me to facilitate lis escape, by going immethink much about it; but my honour was diately on board of my ship, with the addi-. never yet breathed upon; and I now bold tional prospect of obtaining employment in my existence only in the determination to America ? It has been said that there remove an imputation as groundless as it is was a guspicious degree of familiarity in intolerable. The evidence which I now his treatment of my

house. I can tender to your Lordships, will aid me in only observe, that over bis conduct I had performing this duty towards myself, my no controul. But he knew, it seems, of rank, and my profession. I first offer my chance of abode, which had occurred the affidavit, which I have repeated at within a few days. I trust it will be reà risk that I formerly had no oppor- collected that he is proved to have left tunity of encountering. I have been told, town three days after such change; and that I then incurred the moral guilt of that, though not intimate with me, he had perjory, without exposing myself to the the means of knowing where I resided, legal penalties. I know nothing of such eren if he should not have inquired at my distinctions. I have repeated the state- former lodgings, where my address was ment upon oath-and I am now an- left. Indeed, if taking refuge in my ship, swerable to the laws, if I have falsely in order to facilitate his escape, was part

The affidavits of three persons, of his scheme, it was very likely that he who saw De Berenger at my house on would have ascertained the precise place the 21st of February, fully confirm my of my abode previous to his quitting statement; and I have only been pre- London. Again, I am said to have left vented from bringing forward a fourth, the tinman's (where I think I should by his sailing to a distant station, before I hardly bave gone had I expected such a could possibly stop him for this purpose. messenger) as soon as I heard of the offiThe grounds upon which I have been concer's arrival. I was in apprehensions of victed are these :-'That notes were found fatal news respecting my hrnther then in in Berenger's possession which had been France, from whom I had received a letter changed for others, that had once becn in i but three days before, with the intelligence

me and

[ocr errors]


of his being dangerously ill; and I now have acted, or where I sharid have chosen tender you his afficiavit, with the surgeon's to receive him, it is impossibio for me to certificate, dated the 12th of February, say: but I humbly apprehend that my own which he brought home with him. And, house wis not the place I should have setherefore, on receiving the note from lected for that purpose. The pretended Berenger, wbose name I was unable to de- Du Bourg, if I had chosen bim for my incipher, and as that note announced that strument, instead of his making me his conthe writer, whom I learnt from my servant venience, should have terminated his expehad the appearance of an officer in the dition, and found a change of dress elsearmy, was desirous of secing me, I hasten- where. He should not have come immeed to learn intelligence so anxiously ex-j diately and in open day to my house. I pected ; nor had I the least doubt that it should not so rastly have invited detection, related to my brother. When, however, I and its concomitant ruin.-But this is not found that the person was De Berenger, the only extravagance of which I am accuand that he had only to speak of his own sed. What supposition, short of my absoprivate affairs, the apparent distress he was lute insanity, will account for my having in, and the relief it gave my mind to know voluntarily made the affidavit which has that he was not the bearer of the news been so much canvassed, if I really knew I dreaded, prevented me from feeling that the plot in which Berenger appears to have displeasure which I might otherwise have been engaged? Let me entreat your Lordfelt at the liberty he had taken, or the in- ships consideration of the situation in terruption it had occasioned. Comments which I stood at the moment in which that have been made on my saying so little to affidavit was made. I was suspected of the servant who brought me that note ; being connected with the pretended Du but the fact is, I did ask him several ques- Bourg; if I had known that Berenger was tions, as appears by his affidavit. That I the person who had assumed that name, did not learn the name of the writer from could I possibly have betrayed him, and the note itself, I have truly accounted for, consequently myself

, more completely than by its being written so close to the bottom by publishing such a detail to the world? of the that I could not read it. This The name of Berenger never was mentioned assertion is said to be contradicted by the till brought forward in my affidavit; which circımstance of the writer having found affidavit was made, as sworn by Jr. room to add a postscript, as if there was Wright, a witness on the trial, with the cironly one side to the paper. Of the post- cumstance present to me, and remarked hy script I have no recollection, but it might me at the time I delivered it to bin to be have been written even opposite the signa- printed, that if De Berenger should happen ture. That I did not collect from the to be Du Bourg, I had furnished a clue to hand-writing that it was addressed to me his detection. The circumstance of his obby Berenger, is nothing extraordinary ; taining a change of dress at my house never my acquaintance with that person was ex- could have been known, if I had not voluntremely slight; and till that day I had tarily discovered it: and thus I am reprenever received more than one or two notes sented as having brought him publicly to from him, which related to a drawing of a my own house, of being the first to disclose lamp. I was too deeply impressed with his name, and of mentioning a circunstance the idea that tlie note was addressed to which, of all others, it was the most casy to me by an officer who had come with intel-conceal; and if divulged, the most certain ligence of my brother, to apprehend that it to excite suspicion! Is it not next to imtvas written by De Berenger, from whom possible that a man, conscious of guilt, I expected no communication, and with should have been so careless of bis most whose hand-writing 'I was not familiar. imminent danger ?--My adversaries dwell All that I could afterwards recollect of the upon some particulars of this affidavit, note, more than what is stated in my affi- which they pretend to find contradicted by davit, is, that he had something to cirmu- the cridence. The principal one is my a3nicate which would affect my feeling mind, s«rtion that Berenger wore a green coat. or words to that effect, which confirmed I have repeated this assertion upon oalli, my apprehensions that the writer was under all the risks of the law; and I also the messenger of fatal news of my brother. solemnly affirm, upon my honour, which I If Berenger had really been my agent in regard as an obligation no less sacred, that this nefarious transaction, how I should I only say him in that dress. The wit



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

nesses on the part of the prosecution have collection the certificates he bad received
asserted, that he wore a red coat when he from them. · I then had no suspicion
arrived in town. Granted. But may he awake, and I believed what he tord nie.
not have changed it in the coach, on his in what manner the disguise was ultimate-
way to Green-street? Where was the ly disposed ot i can only conjecture, az any
difficulty, and for what purpose was the one else might, from the evidence given
portmanteau ? My own fixed opinion is, on the trial. ile presented bimself to me
ibat he changed his dress in the coach, be- is a grey great cont, and a green mder
cause I believe that he dared not run the coat; and if the persons whose affidavits I
risk of appearing in my presence till be had now tender had been examined on the
so changed it. I tender affidavits of thise trial, and they did attend for that purpose,
wlio saw him, as I did, in bis green coat at I do feel persnaded that a very dillerent
my house. That be should bave chmged his impression would bave been made on the
dress before I saw him, is most natural, upon. Jury and the world at large, than that
the supposition of his wishing to conceal from which they appear to entertain; and that
me the work he had been about; but it is like your Lordships might have been disposed to
many other confirmations of my innocence, take an opposite view of the case as it af-
fated to excite no attention in the minds of fected me. Those witnesses would have
those who only seek food for their suspi-corroborated the particulars of my affida-
cions. Much is said of the star and other 'vit relative to De Berenger's dress when I
ornaments, as if any proof had been given first saw him at my house, namely a grey
of his wearing these in my presence. He great coat, and a green under-coat, or
took especial care, I doubt not, to lay them jacket. Unfortunately, through some mis-
aside on his way, when he had divested him- take or misconception, not on my part,
self of his official capacity, long before I saw they were left unnoticed, and, of course,
bim. The small portmanteau, before men were not examined. I have now to offer
tioned, which it is admitted he brought with their several affidavits to your Lordships.
him, in all probability furnished him with the I would further submit to your Lordships,
green coat, and received the red coat and its that my affidavit was made on the impulse
ornaments, and very possibly for this reason of the moment, as soon as I heard that pla-
no remark has ben made upon it. A cards had been posted, stating that the
good deal of observation has been bestowed pretended Col. De Bourg bad gone to my
upon De Berenger's unwillingness to ap- house; and, in the couscious rectitude of
pear before Lord Yarmouth in uniform; my own conduct, I not only introduced the
and the inference was, that this uniform name of the only officer I saw at my house
could not have been the green dress of his on the day stated, but narrated every oc-
corps, otherwise he must have felt the re currence that took place, and all the con-
verse of uneasy at being seen in it by his versation that passed at the interview, to
Colonel. Does any Volunteer Officer go the best of my recollection. If I am cen-
out of a morning to make calls in his rc- sured for having been too' ingenuous in my
gimentals ? Could so unusual a circum- commupication, I trust it will be admitted,
stance have failed to excite remark from that as iugenuousness disclains all connec-
Lord Yarmouth? To me, indeed, he had tion with guilt, it is indicative only of my
explained himself—he had of necessity innocence. If your Lordships will be
told me his nearly desperate state, in ask- pleased to reflect on all that I have offered.
ing me to receive him on board my ship ; respecting De Berenger, and to bear in
but is there any thing so very incredible in mind the avowed intercourse wbich I had
the statement that he was unwilling to tell with two other Defendants, respecting
his whole case to every body? It may now whose conduct I have been compelled to
doubtless be perceived that he might have speak, at least upon a supposition of their
had other reasons for disliking to go out in a guilt, I am confident you will perceive how
green dress. Let it, however, be recollect- easily any man, living so circumstanced,
ed that my statement was, that he only might have been placed in the very situ.d.-
asked me for a hat in lieu of his military tion. But waving the supposition of De
cap, and that the black coat was my own Berenger acting under the direction of
voluntary offer. The idea of his applying either of the other Defendants, 1 do stiil
to Lord Yarmouth, or to any other of his contend that any man who had stock con-
friends, originated with me, and I pr osed cerns, and was slightly known to De Beren-
it in consequence of his calling to my re- ! Eur, ran the same risk with me of being

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »