TRTAL or CARLILE.—The trial of Carlile the bookseller, for a
seditious libel published in a work called the Prompter, came on at the Old Bailey on Monday, before the Recorder. There wereseveral cimitts in the indictment ; but the part of the publication on which Mr. Adol- phus, the counsel for the- Crown, most relied, was au address to the
agricultural population, which ran thus-
' You are much to be admired for every thing you are known to have done during the last month; for, as yet, there is no evidence before the public that you are in- cendiaries, or even political rebels. Much as every thoughtful man must lament the waste of property, much as the country must suffer by the burnings of farm produce now going on, were you proved to be the incendiaries, we should defend you by saying that you have more just and moral cause for it than any King or fib-, tion, that ever made war, had for making war. In war, all destructions of property
are counted lawful, upon the ground or that which s called the law of nations- Yours is a state of warfare, and your ground of quarrel is the want of the necessa- ries of life in the midst of an abundance. You see hoards offood, and"YOu are starving. You see a Government rioting in every sort of luxury and wasteful ex.; penditure ; and you, ever ready to labour, cannot find one of the comforts of life. Neither your silence nor your patience has obtained for you the least respectful at- tention from that Government. The More tame you have grown; the more your- have been oppressed and dem.ised, the more you have been trampled on ; and it is only now, that you begin to display your physical as.well as your moral strength,. that your esuel tyrants treat with you, and offer terms of pacification. Your de- mands have been, so far, moderate and just ; and any attempt to stifle them, by the threatened severity of the new Administration, will be so wicked as to justify your resistance even to death, and to life for life." We look upon Carlile as a contemptible and worthless person, 'and entitled to no favour on his own account-; but we question the wisdom of elevating him to sorry notoriety by political prOseentions ; aUd,, strong as are the expressions in the .above extract, it may be (Imes-. tioned, notwithstanding the dicta of Mr. Adolphus and the Recorder; whether, strictly speaking, it be libellous. It may be doubted whether- it be a libel to tell a man to persist in a just demand to the death, and • to resist an attempt to stifle justice by life for life. If the Ministry, were capable of stifling justice, or of attempting it, they would de. servedly be resisted ; it would be an act of patriotism to resist thetry. The Jury seem to have taken this view of the alleged libel. The trial furnishes, indeed, one of the finest exemplifications of the absurdity of the forms of Jury trial, that has occurred for a long time. After the publication had been proved, the prisoner made a long, rambling, and unsatisfactorrdefence, that occupied five or six hours, and in which he endeavoured to justify the expressions in the Prompter, by the publica- tion of similar tracts which had not been prosecuted. Mr. Adolphus then replied, and the Recorder summed up, of course against . the prisoner. The Jury left their box at nine o'clock. At eleven. o'cloc14 the Recorder sent for them into Court, to ask if they were yet agreed ? They were agreed touching the publication, but the material question was far from being settled.
A Juror said, the only question in dispute was, whether they were to decide from the indictment, that it was a libel ? There. were one or two of the Jury who were not satisfied that it was a libel.
The Recorder—" I have endeavoured to state to you what the law is respecting the nature of the publication ; about that I have spoken with- out disguise, and you are to give a verdict on the whole case..' Defendant—" May I be allowed, my Lord, to make an observation ?" The Recorder—" Certainly not, Sir, you must be quiet. Gentlemen of the Jury, you must again retire."
At midnight, the Jury were again summoned to the presence of the Judge.
The Clerk—" Are you now agreed, gentlemen ? "
Foreman—" No, Sir."
Recorder—" Do you wish any information from the Court, gentle- men ? If you do, I am ready to give it.
A Juror—`.‘ We do not require any *further information than what we have already, my Lord."
Recorder—" You must retire, gentlemen, and consider your verdict."
A Juror—" My Lord, I cannot, conscientiously with the oath I have taken, come to any other conclusion than what I have come to. MayI give my reasons." The Recorder—" Certainly not, Sir. It would be trespassing upon the duty of a Jury to ask for any reason. Gentlemen, you must again retire, and at ten to-morrow morning the Court will receive your verdict." The Foreman—" Are we to be locked up all night, my Lord ?" Recorder—" Yes, Sir.".
After some moments' pause, the Recorder said he would wait for another hour. When one o'clock arrived, the Jury once more returned to Court.
The Clerk—" Are you now agreed, gentlemen ? " Foreman—" No, Sir. May we have the second count of the indiet- talent read over ?
• Recorder--" Certainly. That contains the Address to the Agricul- cultural Labourers."
The Clerk of the Arraigns then read over the second count ; after which the Jury conferred for twenty minutes longer ; they then ex- Pressed a desire to retire again. Before they did so, however, they pressed to have five minutes more given (it being then twenty-five minutes to two o'clock) before they quitted the Court; to which the Court consented. At the expiration of the time given, they returned a verdict of guilty upon the second and third counts.
On I'Vednesday, the prisoner was brought up•for judgment ; and after addressing. the Court in mitigation, was sentenced to two years' impri- sonment, to pay a fine of 2001. and to enter securities to the amount of 1000/. to keep the peace for ten years !
The Recorder, during his conversation with the Jury, was very intlig. 'sant with a profane rogue in the gallery, who laughed aloud at the idea of locking up twelve men for ten hours, without meat, drink, fire, candle, or bedding, in the month of January, and at a moment when two of them declared themselves extremely unwell—by way of eliciting a calm, deliberate, and conscientious judgment respecting a point which they had discussed for four hours without agreeing on. We have sufficiently expressed our opinion of the prisoner, but no dislike of his character can for a moment lead us to overlook the manner in which the conviction was obtained. We will not say it was obtained under a threat, because the law authorizes the process ; but we have no hesitation in saying that the verdict would not have been given in when it was, had the Jury been free to return it at any time when they happened to agree ; and that it was given in on Monday night solely because otherwise the Jury Must, whether they agreed or not, have been imprisoned for eight hours. The Recorder has a high opinion of Juries. It would be well for him to consider whether it would not be proper to vest in some officer of the Court the power of receiving their judgment as soon as formed, instead of keeping them for a whole night in durance, because it is inconvenient for the Judge to wait till they are satisfied. We must add, that the se- verity of the sentence is so great, that it will never be carried into effect. The severity of the last sentence on the same man prevented it from being executed. We do not speak of the imprisonment, or even the fine, so much as the security. Security for ten years is monstrous. Few men would be security for a brother for so long a period. In fact, with- oat mitigation, the sentence would be tantamount to perpetual imprison-
Tne Recorder dwells much on the influence of such writers as Carlile. On whom ?—on the rioters of Reading, about one in four of whom could read their own names ? What is the intellectual state of aPopulation that can be persuaded to run the risk of hanging, because a miserable jobber in obscenity writes nonsense to encourage diem in their • course ? If the country gentlemen were not practically as ignorant as their labourers, they would see that the schoolmaster was the only person that can effectually put down the Prompter. An uneducated populace could hardly be unduly influenced by any writer, but an educated popu- lace would assuredly not be influenced by such a writer as Carlile.
Junic [AL Zeal. —We know not if it be the French Revolution or the fires that have produced it, but our Judges seem, of late, to be smit- ten with a singular anxiety to procure convictions. A person was tried at the Old Bailey on Monday' for stealing twenty-eight silk handker- chiefs, which had been traced to him. He produced a respectable wit- nets who saw him buy them, and a number of unimpeachable witnesses to his honesty of character. The Jury instantly pronounced in his favour. "Stop, stop, gentlemen!" exclaimed Mr. Sergeant Arabin, "I have not summed up." The Judge then went on to say, that they must not let their feelings carry away their judgment because persons of respectability had given the prisoner a good character ; persons who, during their previous lives, had maintained the highest characters, had been placed at that bar and satisfactorily convicted. He then recapitu- lated the evidence, and dwelt particularly on the circumstance of the property having been in the possession of the prisoner so soon after it had been stolen.—Now, what, in the name of wonder, had all this to do with the case ? Many most respectable persons have been hanged, no doubt ; but were the Jury on that account to convict a man of stealing, who proved to their satisfaction that he had only been guilty of pur- chasing? Of course the man was acquitted, sand the learned Judge generalized and particularized in vain. It might, indeed, have been otherwise at a Special Commission, with a Jury of country clodpoles.
.OLD BAILEY SENTENCES.—The Sessions ended on Wednesday. Five prisoners were sentenced to death,—two for stealing in dwelling- houses, two for burglary, and one for uttering a forged bill ; six were transported for life ; four for fourteen years ; thirty-seven for seven years ; and about forty to various terms of imprisonment. This has been what is called a light sessions.
NAVAL DiseinaNe.—Commander Deans, of the Childers sloop, and his first Lieutenant, are at present before a Court-martial for alleged cruel and improper treatment of Mr. "Collymore, a midshipman. The Young man has wisely left the service. The case is conducted by the Judge Advocate, by the directions of the Admiralty. Mr. Collymore, it appears, was ordered by the Lieutenant to the mast-head, for having committed some trifling error in making out a hammock list, and re- fused to go ; the commander then ordered him to be hoisted up by force, and lashed there; he extricated himself soon after, and went below. He was next confined in his berth, and afterwards transferred to the poop, where a sentry was placed over him. The commander, who in the interim had been ashore, found him on the poop when he returned, and had him put in irons for four hours. Mr. Collymore had been three years in the service. MANCHESTER DIST RICT.—AH a tempt to represent Manehester and its vicinity as,in,t state of disturbance, actual or apprehended, has been made by the eivic authorities of that town. It was discovered, and most promptly and spiritedly met by a counter-statement of the inhabitants at large. Mr. Prentice, the editor of the Manchester Times, was in the chair at the popular meeting.