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tale of infamy to a hissing world. Nor was his malice yet appeased. Knowing that news-papers might be destroyed, impressions on memory impaired by the lapse of time, he stamped his libel on the records. of the court. He wrote it with a pen of iron on tablets of marble. There it has insultingly remained for months: there it will remain forever.

With what apology does the defendant come into court? He acknowledges the innocency of the plaintiff. After permitting his loathsome publication to range uncontradicted for more than two years, he now comes forward, not with a news paper recantation co-extensive with the circulation of the libel, but he insults the plaintiff with a mere oral acknowledgement: of his innocency. Is this extorted acknowledgement to be forced on us as a peace offering for past sufferings? Does it eradicate impressions on the public mind? Can it tear the libel from the records of the court?-This death bed repentance will not save him. A jury can look forgivingly on the humble defendant who approaches in the sack-cloth of sincere contrition, but they frown with indignation at the penitence of the tongue when the heart is known to be yet filled with the bitterness of gall.

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I am one of those who believe that the heart of the wilful and the deliberate libeller is blacker than that of the high-way robber, or his who commits the crime. of midnight arson. The man who plunders on the high-way, may have the semblance of an apology for what he does. An affectionate wife may demand subsistence; a circle of helpless children raise to him the supplicating hand for food. He may be driven to the desperate act by the high mandate of imperative necessity. The mild features of the husband and the father may intermingle with those of the robber and soften the roughness of the shade. But the robber of character plunders that which "not enricheth him", though it makes his neighbour "poor indeed".

The man who at the midnight hour consumes his neighbours dwelling, does him an injury which per

haps is not irreparable. Industry may rear another habitation. The storm may indeed descend upon him until charity opens a neighbouring door: the rude wind of heaven may whistle around his uncovered family. But he looks forward to better days: he has yet an hook left to hang a hope on. No such consolation cheers the heart of him whose character has been torn from him. If innocent he may look, like Anaxagoras, to the Heavens; but he must be constrained to feel that this world is to him a wilderness. For whither shall he go ? Shall he dedicate himself to the service of his country? But will his country receive him? Will she employ in her councils, or in her armies, the man at whom the "slow unmoving finger of scorn" is pointed? Shall he betake himself to the fire-side? "There, there's the rub". The story of his disgrace will enter his own doors before him. And can he bear, think you, can he bear the sympathising agonies of a distressed wife? Can he endure the formidable presence of scrutinizing, sneering domestics? Will his children receive instruction from the lips of a disgraced father? Gentlemen, I am not ranging on fairy ground. _I am telling the plain story of my client's wrongs. By the ruthless hand of malice his character has been wantonly massacred;-and he now appears before a jury of his country for redress. Will you deny him. this redress?-Is character valuable? On this point I will not insult you with argument. There are certain things, to argue which is treason against nature. The author of our being did not intend to leave this point afloat at the mercy of opinion, but with his own hand has he kindly planted in the soul of man an instinctive love of character. This high sentiment has no affinity to pride. It is the ennobling quality of the soul and if we have hitherto been elevated above the ranks of surrounding creation, human nature owes its elevation to the love of character. It is the love of character for which the poet has sung, the philosopher toiled, the hero bled. It is the love of cha

racter which wrought miracles at antient Greece: the love of character is the eagle on which Rome rose to empire. And it is the love of character animating the bosom of her sons, on which America must depend in those approaching crises that may " try men's souls." Will a jury weaken this our nation's hope? Will they by their verdict pronounce to the youth of our country, that character is scarce worth possessing?

We read of that philosophy which can smile over the destruction of property-of that religion which enables its possessor to extend the benign look of forgiveness and complacency to his murderers. But it is not in the soul of man to bear the laceration of slander. The philosophy which could bear it we should despise. The religion which could bear it, we should not despise-but we should be constrained to say, that its kingdom was not of this world.

Second Part of Mr. Griffin's Speech.

In a case like the present, where the jury have a right, and where it is their duty, to award exemplary damages, it becomes you, gentlemen, to look around and enquire what amount of verdict the interests of the nation demand. We ought to be a happy people. Omnipotence has exhausted itself in scattering blessings around us.-But is there no blot on the map of our prosperity? Yes, gentlemen, there is à foul, a deadly blot. A fiend has entered our political Eden;-and this fiend is the spirit of licentiousness. I speak of the licentiousness of the tongue, and the licentiousness of the press. This is the monster that stalks through our land "seeking whom he may devour", and scattering around him "fire-brands arrows, and death”. He obtrudes his "miscreated front" into the hallowed retirements of private life beckons the man of honor to the field of death

'tears the laurel from the brow of the "warworn” soldier-and wrests from the venerable patriot his hard earned honors. Innocency is no shield against him: he delights to sport on the ruins of spotless integrity. He spares not even the sanctuary of the grave. All men, of all parties, groan under his oppression.-It is a melancholy remark, but made, I fear, with too much correctness, that there is no portion of the globe where the licentiousness of the tongue and of the press has become so outrageous as in these United States. It is an encreasing evil amongst us. And it feeds on the vitals of our country. It has driven into retirement, and will continue to drive into retirement, our most estimable characters, whatever may be their political denomination: for who will expose himself to the laceration of calumny? Individuals have been found, and individuals will again be found, who, for the salvation of their country, will expose themselves to death-will even court it in the "imminent, deadly breach". But where are the individuals who will expose themselves to the daggers of defamation? This spirit of licentiousness vitiates the public sentiment, and contaminates the very mind of the nation. It turns into wormwood and gall the benevolent feelings of the human heart, -makes man the foe of man, and may unsheath the sword of civil war. If permitted to continue, it will render our country tired of freedom; and if freedom must be attended with this torrent of licentiousness, perhaps the sooner our country becomes tired of it the better. For "dear as freedom is, and in my soul's just estimation, prized above all price,"reputation is still dearer; and if reputation cannot be preserved under the protection of freedom, our countrymen will seek shelter, they ought to seek shelter under the strong arm of despotism of that despotism which palsies the tongue, and fetters the pen. What has destroyed other republics? The enemy was not from without the world in arms could never entinguish a nation of freemen. Let those who

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doubt this, look to the streights of Thermopylæ ;let them look to Bunker-hill. The enemies of republics is within. The destroying angel of freedom has ever been the spirit of licentiousness. Our nation must be saved from this spirit, or we are lost; shortly shall we follow to the tomb, the republics of other times. The friend of his country looks around him, and anxiously inquires, what power is there to save us. But one power on earth can save us; and that power is a jury. If America is to be saved from the fate cf other republics, jurors must be our saviours. Jurors can do more for us than generals. The heroes of the revolution created our nation ;it is the high prerogative of jurors to preserve it. How are they to preserve it? By keeping pure and dignified the mind of the nation-by preserving un*contaminated its morality. If it is asked, how does the existence of a nation of freemen depend on their morality? I answer; were men angels, they would scarcely need the form of government were they devils, they must be bound in fetters of iron; and as they approximate the one state, or the other, their government may be free, or must be severe. It is thine, virtue, to preserve empires! Thou hast ever been the guardian angel of freedom! Preserve pure and dignified the mind of a nation, and its body is invincible. It may defy an armed world. It is a very Sampson in might. It is the depravation of its mind that severs the locks of its strength.

How are jurors to preserve the morality of our nation?-how arrest the devastations of licentiousness? By their verdicts; by writing upon the records of our courts, in legitable characters, the unchangeable decree, that the violator of character shall be as surely and as severely punished by a verdict in damages as the violator of property or of person. Were ju

rors in earnest to pursue this course, we should find that the fiend defamation would not dare to stalk thus boldly through our land; the tongue of slander would be constrained to remain silent ;-and fear


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