« ZurückWeiter »
me, about the Kennel of the Street, and desired me to let him go on; for when he had done, he would bring Mr. Penn to me.
COURT. What Number do you think might be there?
COOK. About three or four Hundred People.
COURT. Call Richard Read, give him his Oath.
READ being sworn was ask’d, what do you know concerning the Prisoners at the Bar?
READ. My Lord, I went to GracechurchStreet, where I found a great Crowd of People, and I heard Mr. Penn preach to them; and I saw Capt. Mead speaking to Lieutenant Cook, but what he said, I could not tell.
MEAD. What did William Penn say?
READ. There was such a great Noise, that I could not tell what he said.
MEAD. Jury, observe this Evidence, He saith he heard him Preach, and yet faith, he doth not know what he said.
Jury, take notice, he swears now a clean contrary thing to what he swore before the Mayor when we were committed: For now he swears that he saw me in GracechurchStreet, and yet swore before the Mayor, when I was committed, that he did not see me there. I appeal to the Mayor himself, if this be not true. But no Answer was given.
COURT. What Number do you think might be there?
READ. About four or five hundred.
PENN. I desire to know of him what Day it was?
READ. The 14th Day of August.
PEN. Did he speak to me, or let me know he was there; for I am very sure I never saw him. CLER, Cryer, call
into the Court. CLER. Give him his Oath.
My Lord, I saw a great Number of People, and Mr. Penn I suppose was speaking; I see him make a Motion with his Hands, and heard some Noise, but could not understand what he said. But for Capt. Mead, I did not see him there.
Rec. What say you, Mr. Mead, were
MEAD. It is a Maxim in your own Law, Nemo tenetur accusare seipsum, which if it be not true Latin, I am sure it is true English, That no Man is bound to accuse himself: And why dost thou offer to ensnare me with such a Question? Doth not this shew thy Malice? Is this like unto a Judge, that ought to be Counsel for the Prisoner at the Bar?
REC. Sir, hold your Tongue, I did not go about to ensnare you.
PEN. I desire we may come more close to the Point, and that Silence be commanded in the Court.
Cry. O yes, all manner of Persons keep Silence upon Pain of Imprisonment Silence Court.
PEN. We confess our selves to be so far from recanting, or declining to vindicate the Assembling of our selves to Preach, Pray, or Worship the Eternal, Holy, Just God, that we declare to all the World, that we do believe it to be our indispensable Duty, to meet incessantly upon so good an Account; nor shall all the Powers upon Earth be able to divert us from reverencing and adoring our God who made it.
BROWN. You are not here for worshipping God, but for breaking the Law; you do yourselves a great deal of Wrong in going on in that Discourse.
PEN. I affirm I have broken no Law, nor am I guilty of the Indictment that is laid to my Charge; and to the End the Bench, the Jury, and my self, with these that hear us, may have a more direct Understanding of this Procedure, I desire you would let me know by what Law it is you prosecute me, and upon what Law you ground my Indictment.
REC. Upon the Common Law.
REC. You must not think that I am able to run up so many Years, and over so many adjudged Cases, which we call Common Law, to answer your Curiosity.
PEN. This Answer I am sure is very short of my Question, for if it be Common, it should not be so hard to produce.
Rec. Sir, will you plead to your Indictment?
PEN. Shall I plead to an Indictment that hath no Foundation in Law? If it contain that Law you say I have broken, why should you decline to produce that Law, since it will be impossible for the Jury to determine, or agree to bring in their Verdict, who have not the Law produced, by which they should measure the Truth of this Indictment, and the Guilt, or contrary of
Fact? REC. You are a sawcy Fellow, speak to the Indictment.
PEN. I say, it is my place to speak to Matter of Law; I am arraign'd a Prisoner; Obser. At this time
my Liberty, which is next several upon the
to Life it self, is now conBench urged hard
cerned: You are many upon the Prisoner
Mouths and Ears against to bear him down.
me, and if I must not be allowed to make the best of my Case, it is hard. I say again, unless you shew me, and the People, the Law you ground your Indictment upon, I shall take it for granted your Proceedings are meerly Arbitrary.
REC. The Question is, whether you are guilty of this Indictment?
PEN. The Question is not whether I am guilty of this Indictment, but whether this Indictment be legal. It is too general and imperfect an Answer, to say it is the Common Law, unless we knew both where, and what it is: For where there is no Law, there is no Transgression; and that Law which is not in being, is so far from being Common, that it is no Law at all. REC. You are an impertinent Fellow,