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Let every man read and judge for himself, not only of the
merits and demerits of the Work, but of the matters therein contained,
which relate to his own interest and happiness.

If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy, and every species
of hereditary government--to lessen the oppression of taxes--to propose
plans for the education of helpless infancy, and the comfortable support
of the aged and distressed--to endeavour to conciliate nations to each
other--to extirpate the horrid practice of war--to promote universal
peace, civilization, and commerce--and to break the chains of political
superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank;--if these
things be libellous, let me live the life of a Libeller, and let the
name of Libeller be engraved on my tomb.

Of all the weak and ill-judged measures which fear, ignorance,
or arrogance could suggest, the Proclamation, and the project for
Addresses, are two of the worst. They served to advertise the work which
the promoters of those measures wished to keep unknown; and in doing
this they offered violence to the judgment of the people, by calling on
them to condemn what they forbad them to know, and put the strength
of their party to that hazardous issue that prudence would have
avoided.--The County Meeting for Middlesex was attended by only
one hundred and eighteen Addressers. They, no doubt, expected, that
thousands would flock to their standard, and clamor against the _Rights
of Man_. But the case most probably is, that men in all countries, are
not so blind to their Rights and their Interest as Governments believe.

Having thus shewn the extraordinary manner in which the Government party
commenced their attack, I proceed to offer a few observations on the
prosecution, and on the mode of trial by Special Jury.

In the first place, I have written a book; and if it cannot be refuted,
it cannot be condemned. But I do not consider the prosecution as
particularly levelled against me, but against the general right, or
the right of every man, of investigating systems and principles of
government, and shewing their several excellencies or defects. If the
press be free only to flatter Government, as Mr. Burke has done, and to
cry up and extol what certain Court sycophants are pleased to call a
"glorious Constitution," and not free to examine into its errors or
abuses, or whether a Constitution really exist or not, such freedom is
no other than that of Spain, Turkey, or Russia; and a Jury in this case,
would not be a Jury to try, but an Inquisition to condemn.

I have asserted, and by fair and open argument maintained, the right
of every nation at all times to establish such a system and form of
government for itself as best accords with its disposition, interest,
and happiness; and to change and alter it as it sees occasion. Will any
Jury deny to the Nation this right? If they do, they are traitors, and
their verdict would be null and void. And if they admit the right, the
means must be admitted also; for it would be the highest absurdity to
say, that the right existed, but the means did not. The question then
is, What are the means by which the possession and exercise of
this National Right are to be secured? The answer will be, that
of maintaining, inviolably, the right of free investigation; for
investigation always serves to detect error, and to bring forth truth.

I have, as an individual, given my opinion upon what I believe to be
not only the best, but the true system of Government, which is the
representative system, and I have given reasons for that opinion.

First, Because in the representative system, no office of very
extraordinary power, or extravagant pay, is attached to any individual;
and consequently there is nothing to excite those national contentions
and civil wars with which countries under monarchical governments are
frequently convulsed, and of which the History of England exhibits such
numerous instances.

Secondly, Because the representative is a system of Government always
in maturity; whereas monarchical government fluctuates through all the
stages, from non-age to dotage.

Thirdly, Because the representative system admits of none but men
properly qualified into the Government, or removes them if they prove
to be otherwise. Whereas, in the hereditary system, a nation may be
encumbered with a knave or an ideot for a whole life-time, and not be
benefited by a successor.

Fourthly, Because there does not exist a right to establish hereditary
government, or, in other words, hereditary successors, because
hereditary government always means a government yet to come, and the
case always is, that those who are to live afterwards have the same
right to establish government for themselves, as the people had who
lived before them; and, therefore, all laws attempting to establish
hereditary government, are founded on assumption and political fiction.

If these positions be truths, and I challenge any man to prove the
contrary; if they tend to instruct and enlighten mankind, and to free
them from error, oppression, and political superstition, which are the
objects I have in view in publishing them, that Jury would commit an act
of injustice to their country, and to me, if not an act of perjury, that
should call them _false, wicked, and malicious_.

Dragonetti, in his treatise "On Virtues and Rewards," has a paragraph
worthy of being recorded in every country in the world--"The science
(says he,) of the politician, consists, in, fixing the true point of
happiness and freedom. Those men deserve the gratitude of ages who
should discover a mode of government that contained the greatest sum of
_individual happiness_ with the least _national expence_." But if Juries
are to be made use of to prohibit enquiry, to suppress truth, and
to stop the progress of knowledge, this boasted palladium of liberty
becomes the most successful instrument of tyranny.

Among the arts practised at the Bar, and from the Bench, to impose
upon the understanding of a Jury, and to obtain a Verdict where
the consciences of men could not otherwise consent, one of the most
successful has been that of calling _truth a libel_, and of insinuating
that the words "_falsely, wickedly, and maliciously_," though they
are made the formidable and high sounding part of the charge, are not
matters of consideration with a Jury. For what purpose, then, are they
retained, unless it be for that of imposition and wilful defamation?

I cannot conceive a greater violation of order, nor a more abominable
insult upon morality, and upon human understanding, than to see a man
sitting in the judgment seat, affecting by an antiquated foppery of
dress to impress the audience with awe; then causing witnesses and Jury
to be sworn to truth and justice, himself having officially sworn the
same; then causing to be read a prosecution against a man charging him
with having _wickedly and maliciously written and published a certain
false, wicked, and seditious book_; and having gone through all this
with a shew of solemnity, as if he saw the eye of the Almighty darting
through the roof of the building like a ray of light, turn, in an
instant, the whole into a farce, and, in order to obtain a verdict
that could not otherwise be obtained, tell the Jury that the charge of
_falsely, wickedly, and seditiously_, meant nothing; that _truth_ was
out of the question; and that whether the person accused spoke truth or
falsehood, or intended _virtuously or wickedly_, was the same thing;
and finally conclude the wretched inquisitorial scene, by stating
some antiquated precedent, equally as abominable as that which is then
acting, or giving some opinion of his own, and _falsely calling the one
and the other--Law_. It was, most probably, to such a Judge as this,
that the most solemn of all reproofs was given--"_The Lord will smite
thee, thou whitened wall_."

I now proceed to offer some remarks on what is called a Special Jury. As
to what is called a Special Verdict, I shall make no other remark upon
it, than that it is in reality _not_ a verdict. It is an attempt on the
part of the Jury to delegate, or of the Bench to obtain, the exercise of
that right, which is committed to the Jury only.

With respect to the Special Juries, I shall state such matters as I have
been able to collect, for I do not find any uniform opinion concerning
the mode of appointing them.

In the first place, this mode of trial is but of modern invention, and
the origin of it, as I am told, is as follows:

Formerly, when disputes arose between Merchants, and were brought before
a Court, the case was that the nature of their commerce, and the method
of keeping Merchants' accounts not being sufficiently understood by
persons out of their own line, it became necessary to depart from the
common mode of appointing Juries, and to select such persons for a Jury
whose _practical knowledge_ would enable them to decide upon the case.
From this introduction, Special Juries became more general; but some
doubts having arisen as to their legality, an act was passed in the 3d
of George II. to establish them as legal, and also to extend them to all
cases, not only between individuals, but in cases where _the Government
itself should be the prosecutor_. This most probably gave rise to the
suspicion so generally entertained of packing a Jury; because, by this
act, when the Crown, as it is called, is the Prosecutor, the Master of
the Crown-office, who holds his office under the Crown, is the person
who either wholly nominates, or has great power in nominating the Jury,
and therefore it has greatly the appearance of the prosecuting party
selecting a Jury.

The process is as follows:

On motion being made in Court, by either the Plaintiff or Defendant, for
a Special Jury, the Court grants it or not, at its own discretion.

If it be granted, the Solicitor of the party that applied for the
Special Jury, gives notice to the Solicitor of the adverse party, and a
day and hour are appointed for them to meet at the office of the Master
of the Crown-office.



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