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may lead a man.
a man. I haye no doubt, if Mr. Dillon had given his heart fair play, had let his own nature gain a moment's ascendency, he would not have acted so; but there is something in guilt which infatuates its votaries forward; it may begin v:ith a promise broken, it will end with the home depopulated. But there is something in a seducer of peculiar turpitude. I know of no character so vile, so detestable. He is the vilest of robbers, for he plunders happiness; the worst of murderers, for he murders innocence ; his
ap petites are of the brute, his arts of the demon; the heart of the child and the corse of the parent are the foundations of the altar which he rears to a lust, whose fires are the fires of hell, and whose incense is the agony of virtue! I hope Mr. Dillon's advocate may prove that he does not de . serve to rank in such a class as this; but if he does, I hope the infatuation inseparably connected with such proceedings may tempt him to deceive you through the same plea by which he has defrauded his miserable dupe.
I dare him to attempt the defamation of a character, which, before his cruelties, never was even suspected. Happily, Gentlemen, happily for herself, this wretched creature, thus cast upon the world, appealed to the parental refuge she had forfeited. I need not describe to you the parent's anguish at the heart-rending discovery. God help the poor man when misfortune comes upon him! How few are his resources ! how distant his consolation! You must not forget, Gentlemen, that it is
not the unfortunate victim herself who appeals to you for compensation. Her crimes, poor wretch, have outlawed her from retribution, and, however, the temptations by which her erring nature was seduced may procure an audience from the ear of mercy, the stern morality of earthly law refuses their interference. No, no; it is the wretched parent who comes this day before you-his aged locks withered by misfortune, and his heart broken by crimes of which he was unconscious. He resorts to this tribunal, in the language of the law, claiming the value of his daughter's servitude; but let it not be thought that it is for her mere manual labours he solicits compensation. No, you are to compensate him for all he has suffered, for all he has to suffer, for feelings outraged, for gratifications plundered, for honest pride put to the blush, for the exiled endearments of his once happy home, for all those innumerable and instinctive ecstasies with which a virtuous daughter fills her father's heart, for which language is too poor to have a name, but of which nature is abundantly and richly eloquent! Do not suppose I am endeavouring to influence you by the power of declamation. I am laying down to you the British law, as liberally expounded and solemnly adjudged. I speak the language of the English Lord Eldon, a judge of great experience and greater learning(Mr. Phillips here cited several cases as decided by Lord Eldon.)-Such, Gentlemen, is the language of Lord Eldon. I speak also on the authority of our own Lord Avonmore, a judge who
illuminated the bench by his genius, endeared it by his suavity, and dignified it by his bold uncompromising probity; one of those rare men, who hid the thorns of law beneath the brightest flowers of literature, and, as it were, with the wand of an enchanter, changed a wilderness into a garden! I speak upon that high authority—but I speak on other authority paramount to all !—on the authority of nature rising up within the heart of man, and calling for vengeance upon such an outrage. God forbid, that in a case of this kind we were to grope our way through the ruins of antiquity, and blunder over statutes, and burrow through black letter, in search of an interpretation which Provis dence has'engraved in living letters on every human heart. Yes;
Yes; if there be one amongst you blessed with a daughter, the smile of whose infancy still cheers your memory, and the promise of whose youth illuminates your hope, who has endeared the toils of your manhood, whom
look the solace of your declining years, whose embrace alleviated the pang of separation, whose glowing welcome hailed your oft anticipated return—oh, if there be one amongst you, to whom those recollections are dear, to whom those hopes are precious—let him only fancy that daughter torn from his caresses by a seducer's arts, and cast upon the world, robbed of her innocence,—and then let him ask his heart, “ what money could reprise him!”
The defendant, Gentlemen, cannot complain that I put it thus to you. If, in place of seducing;
up to as
he had assaulted this poor girl—if he had attempted by force what he has achieved by fraud, his life would have been the forfeit; and yet how trifling in comparison would have been the parent's agony! He has no right, then, to complain, if you should estimate this outrage at the price of his
very existence! I am told, indeed, this gentleman entertains an opinion, prevalent enough in the age of a feudalism, as arrogant as it was barbarous, that the poor are only a species of property, to be. treated according to interest or caprice; and that wealth is at once a patent for crime, and an exemption from its consequences. Happily for this land, the day of such opinions has passed over it --the eye of a purer feeling and more profound philosophy now beholds riches but as one of the aids to virtue, and sees in oppressed poverty only an additional stimulus to increased protection. A generous heart cannot help feeling, that in cases of this kind the poverty of the injured is a dreadful aggravation. If the rich suffer, they have much to console them; but when a poor man loses the darling of his heart--the sole pleasure with which nature blessed him-how abject, how cureless is the despair of his destitution! Believe me, Gentlemen, you have not only a solemn duty to perform, but you
have an awful responsibility imposed upon you. You are this day, in some degree, trustees for the morality of the people---perhaps of the whole nation; for, depend upon it, if the sluices of immorality are once opened among the lower orders, the frightful tide, drifting upon its surface all
that is dignified or dear, will soon rise even to the habitations of the highest. I feel, Gentlemen, I have discharged my duty-I am sure you will do your's.
repose my client with confidence in your hands; and most fervently do I hope, that when evening shall find you at your happy fire-side, surrounded by the sacred circle of your children, you may not feel the heavy curse gnawing at your heart, of having let loose, unpunished, the prowler that may devour them.