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hands of France! What! meditate such a cruel assassination of her political life! Had I done so, I had not deserved to live; and dying with such a weight upon my character, I had merited the honest execration of that country which gave me birth and to which I would have given freedom. Had I been in Switzerland, I would have fought against the French, for I am certain, the Swiss are hostile to the French. In the dignity of Freedom, I would have expired on the threshold of that country, and they should have entered it only by passing over my lifeless corse. Is it, then, to be supposed, that I should be slow to make the same sacrifice to my native land? Am I, who lived but to be of service to my country-who resigned for that service the worship of another idol I adored in my heart, and who would subject myself to the bondage of the grave to give her independence -am I to be loaded with the foul and grievous calumny of being an emissary of France ?

My Lords, it may be part of the system of angry justice to bow a man's mind by humiliation to meet the ignominy of the scaffold, but worse to me than the scaffold's shame, or the scaffold's terrors, would be the imputation of having been the agent of French despotism and ambition; and while I have breath, I will call upon my countrymen not to believe me guilty of so foul a crime against their liberties and their happiness. Though you, my Lord, sit there a Judge, and I stand here a culprit-yet, you are but a man, and I am another; I Itave a right, therefore, to vindicate my character and motives from the aspersions of calumny; and, as a man to whom fame. is dearer than life, I will make the last use of that life in rescuing my name and my memory from the afflicting imputation of having been an emissary of France, or seeking her interference in the internal regulation of our affairs. Did I live to see a French army approach this country, I would meet it on the shore, with a torch in one hand, and a sword in the other-I would receive them with all the destruction

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of war! I would animate my countrymen to immofate them in their very boats, before our native soil should be polluted by a foreign foe. If they succeeded in landing, I would burn every blade of grass before them-raze every house-contend to the last for every inch of ground-and the last spot in which the hope of freedom should desert me, that spot would I make my grave! What I cannot do, I leave a legacy to my country, because I feel conscious that my death were unprofitable, and all hope of liberty extinct, the moment a French army obtained footing. in this island."


First Part of Mr. Griffin's Speech, in the trial of M. Livingston, Esq. against J. Cheetham, for a libel, in 1807.

The defendant (Cheetham) stand's convicted of the serious offence of publishing against the plaintiff (Liv ingston) a false and defamatory accusation. And you. (gentlemen) are the organ to pronounce the sentence of violated law.

What damages will you give? This libel, gentlemen, is not a solitary ebullition of passion. It is a part and parcel of a deliberate and extended system of attack. The defendant foretold that he would wage. "a terrible warfare" against the plaintiff: and this prediction he has indeed tremendously accomplished.. With a step steady as time, and an appetite keen as death, he has been seen waging against the plaintiff a warfare, not of conquest, but of extirmination. He. has been seen opening on the plaintiff the batteries of the press. Yes, gentlemen, the defendant has forced. the press to become the disturber of domestic quiet,. the assassin of private reputation. Our press, gentle

men, was destined for other purposes. It was destined not to violate, but to protect the sanctity of private rights. It was kindly ordained by a beneficent providence to inform, expand and dignify the public mind. It was ordained the watchful guardian, the undaunted champion of liberty :

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Not that syren word liberty, which is sometimes used as an ignis fatuus to allure mankind through the mire and swamps and mountains and precipices of revolution ;-but that liberty which spreads the banners of its protection over man in the walks of private life, and gives him, the proud consciousness of security in the enjoyment of property, person and character. It is for these high purposes our press was ordained; but the defendant has rendered it the degraded vehicle of foul defamation. Of this I complain, not merely as counsel for the plaintiff, but as the humble advocate of my country. This is a crime against liberty herself. It is corrupting her centinel; it is debauching her vestal.. There was a time when the press of our country had an exalted character,-when at the call of the press the American pulse beat high,-when the press was capable of stirring the best blood in American veins, -of rousing a nation to glorious enthusiasm, of calling from the plough the ploughman, from the closet the scholar, to fight with a Washington and a Hamilton the immortal battles of American independence. Why had the press this resistless inence ? Because it was then the vehicle of truth. But now our press has lost its character for veracity. The de-. party has forced it to become a prostitute the service of licentiousness. It requires the aveng ing arm of a jury to redeem it from its degradation and restore it to its pristine utility and grandeur.

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In his attack on the character of the plaintiff, we are constrained to admit that the defendant has been but too successful. When so much is said, something will be believed. Constant attrition wears away the solid rock. But character, gentlemen, is

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not made of rock. It is at once the most valuable and delicate of all human possessions: it is tarnished. even by too much handling. The plaintiff has been written down. Any man in society may be written down. No man is proof against the artillery of the press. But has it come to this? Shall the press of our country be indeed converted into a tremendous engine for writing down character? Why, gentlemen, if it is to be thus prostituted, instead of being a blessing, it would be a scourge. Instead of ren-dering national thanksgiving for its institution, our country ought to be on bended knees in fervent sup plication to heaven for its abolition. For it would be a scourge, compared with which, the inquisitorial wheel and revolutionary guillotine would be instruments of mercy.

During this assassination of his character, it is not to be supposed that the mind of the plaintiff has been at rest. Put yourselves in his situation. What would be your feelings while slanders the most vile, while calumnies the most base, were circulating against you through the medium of a widely extended public news-paper; to be read by your cotempora ries-your friends-and sneering enemies; to descend to posterity, and be read by your children and grand-children; to be republished perhaps by some future libeller when you would be slumbering in your graves, to the mortification and disgrace of your descendants, who might then be destitute of the means of detecting the calumny? Oh, gentlemen, your hearts would be tortured on the wheel of agonizing sensibility. You would find no balm in innocency-no physician there. What you would suffer, the plaintiff has suffered. I should think meanly of him did I suppose him capable of retiring from the feelings of nature, and wrapping himself up in the mantle of insensibility. He this day appeals to a jury of his country. He has a right to demand of you, and in. his name, gentlemen, do I solemnly demand of you, full remuneration for every honest man's confidence.

which has been estranged from him, for every wretched hour, for every sleepless night that he or his may be presumed to have endured from the cir culation of this calumny.

What damages will you give? Look, gentlemen, at the libel. It accuses the plaintiff of cheating at cards of being detected in cheating at cards. It superadds to the imputation of dishonesty, the charge of foul dishonor. Were the plaintiff accused of treason or murder, he might arm himself with a stern denial, and appear intrepidly before the tribunal of the public. But this loathsome charge, this rotting accusation, this "pestilence which walketh in darkness" deprives the unfortunate accused even of the miserable comfort of a public denial. Where is this offence charged to have been committed. At an assembly room- -where the fascination of music and enchantment of beauty-the "pride, pomp, and circumstance of elegant conviviality would elevate any man not lost in debasement,-the plaintiff comes. He e comes, not: to participate the bounties of the temple of festivity, but to profane its rites. With an eye darkly bent on gain he comes-leagued with his brother, not in the prosecution of some honourable enterprise, but for the polluted and polluting purpose of treacherously robbing an unsuspecting friend. Is the plaintiff guilty of this charge? With his standing in society, without the excuse of poverty, or the extenuation of sordid education, has he indeed sunk to this? Then he ought to be branded with a mark as indelible as that stamped by the hand of omnipotence on the forehead of Cain. The hiss of contempt, and murmur of indignation are the music to which he should be forced to march all the days of his life. But if the plaintiff is innocent and who doubts his innocency?what shall we say of the defendant? In the solitude of the closet he composed the libel. Deliberately did he publish it through the extended medium of the press. He commissioned the four winds of heaven to tell the


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