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there any? Perhaps the defendant might have been misled as to circumstances? No, he lived upon the spot, and had the best possible information. Do
think he believed in the truth of the publication ? No; he knew that in every syllable it was as false as perjury. Do you think that an anxiety for the Catholic community might have inflamed him against the imaginary dereliction of its advocate? No; the very essence of his Journal is prejudice. Do you think that in the ardour of liberty he might have venially transgressed its boundaries? No; in every line he licks the sores, and pampers the pestilence of authority. I do not ask you to be stoics in your investigation. If you can discover in this libel one motive inferentially moral, one single virtue which he has plundered and misapplied, give him its benefit. I will not demand such an effort of your faith, as to imagine, that his northern constitution could, by any miracle, be fired into the admirable but mistaken energy of enthusiasm;—that he could for one moment have felt the inspired phrenzy of those loftier spirits, who, under some daring but divine delusion, rise into the arch of an ambition so bright, so baneful, yet so beauteous, as leaves the world in wonder whether it should admire or mourn whether it should weep or worship! No; you will not only search in vain for such a palliative, but you
will find this publication springing from the most odious origin, and disfigured by the most foul accompaniments, founded in a bigotry at which hell rejoices,
érouching with a sycophancy at which flattery blushes, deformed by a falsehood at which perjury would hesitate, and, to crown the climax of its crowded infamies, committed under the sacred shelter of the Press; as if this false, slanderous, sycophantic slave, could not assassinate private worth without polluting public privilege; as if he could not sacrifice the character of the pious without profaning the protection of the free ; as if he could not poison learning, liberty, and religion, unless he filled his chalice from the very font whence they might have expected to derive the waters of their salvation ! Now, Gentlemen, as to the measure of
your damages :-You are the best judges on that subject; though, indeed, I have been asked, and I heard the question with some surprise-why it is that we have brought this case at all to be tried before you.
To that I might give at once an unobjectionable answer, namely, that the law allowed
But I will deal much more candidly with you. We brought it here, because it was as far as possible from the scene of prejudice; because no possible partiality could exist; because, in this happy and united county, less of the bigotry which distracts the rest of Ireland exists, than in any
other with which we are acquainted; because the nature of the action, which we have mercifully brought in place of a criminal prosecution--the usual course pursued in the present day, at least against the independent press of Ireland, -gives them, if they have it, the power of proving a justifica
tion; and I perceive they have emptied half the north here for the purpose. But I cannot anticipate an objection, which, no doubt, shall not be made. If this habitual libeller should characteristically instruct his counsel to hazard it, that learned gentleman is much too wise to adopt it, and must know you much too well to insult you by its utterance. What damages, then, Gentlemen, can you give? I am content to leave the defendant's crimes altogether out of the question, but how can you recompense the sufferings of my client? Who shall estimate the cost of priceless reputation—that impress which gives this human dross its currency, without which we stand despised, debased, depreciated ? Who shall repair it injured? Who can redeem it lost? Oh! well and truly does the great philosopher of poetry esteem the world's wealth as 6 trash” in the comparison. Without it, gold has no value, birth no distinction, station no dignity, beauty no charm, age no reverence; or, should I not rather say, without it every treasure impoverishes, every grace deforms, every dignity degrades, and all the arts, the decorations, and accomplishments of life, stand, like the beacon-blaze upon a rock, warning the world that its approach is danger-that its contact is death. The wretch without it is under an eternal quarantine ;-no friend to greet-no home to harbour him. The voyage of his life becomes a joyless peril ; and in the midst of all ambition can achieve, or avarice amass, or rapacity plunder, he tosses on the surge--a buoyant pesti
lence ! But, Gentlemen, let me not degrade into the selfishness of individual safety, or individual exposure, this universal principle: it testifies an higher, a more ennobling origin. It is this which, consecrating the humble circle of the hearth, will at times extend itself to the circumference of the horizon; which nerves the arm of the patriot to save his country; which lights the lamp of the philosopher to amend man; which, if it does not inspire, will yet invigorate the martyr to merit inmortality; which, when one world's agony is passed, and the glory of another is dawning, will prompt the prophet, even in his chariot of fire, and in his vision of heaven, to bequeath to mankind the mantle of his memory! Oh divine, oh delightful legacy of a spotless reputation ! Rich is the inheritance it leaves; pious the example it testifies; pure, precious, and imperishable, the hope which it inspires! Can you conceive a more atrocious injury than to filch from its possessor this inestimable benefit-to rob society of its charm, and solitude of its solace; not only to outlaw life, but to attaint death, converting the very grave, the refuge of the sufferer, into the gate of infamy and of shame! I can conceive few crimes beyond it. He who plunders my property takes from me that which can be repaired by time: but what period can repair a ruined reputation ? He who maims my person affects that which medicine may remedy: but what herb has sovereignty over the wounds of slander? He who ridicules my poverty, or reproaches my pro
fession, upbraids me with that which industry may
It has no en joyment but crime; it has no prey but virtue ; it has no interval from the restlessness of its malice, save when, bloated with its victims, it grovels to disgorge them at the withered shrine, where envy idolizes her own infirmities. Under such a visitation how dreadful would be the destiny of the virtuous and the good, if the providence of our constitution had not given you the power, as, I trust, you will have the principle, to bruise the head of the serpent, and crush and crumble the altar of its idolatry!
And now, Gentlemen, having toiled through this narrative of unprovoked and pitiless persecution, I should with pleasure consign my client to your hands, if a more imperative duty did not still remain to me, and that is, to, acquit him of every personal motive in the prosecution of this action. No; in the midst of slander, and suffering, and severities unexampled, be has had no thought, but, that as his enemies evinced how malice could persecute, he should exemplify how religion could endure; that if his piety failed to affect the op