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view of it, the ftatute is agreeable to the principle which pervades our penal code: the guilt is placed in the malus animus, and if any doubt arife with respect to that, the decifion is always in favour of the pri foner. But to convict a man of compaffing and imagining the King's death" upon overt acts, which do not neceffarily prove such a defign, is to be regarded in the fame light, as to convict a man of murder upon evidence which amounts only to fraud.'

What more immediately gave birth to the famous act of the 25th Edw. III. was the following anecdote, thus briefly stated by our author; which, as a legal and hiftorical curiofity, we extract:

In the 21ft of Ed. 3d. rex coram rege, Sir John Gerberge," fays Sir M. Hale, from whom I have collected my facts," was indicted for High Treason, for that he rode armed with his fword drawn in his hand, modo guerrino, and affaulted and took William de Botelisford, and detained him till he paid gol. and took away his Horfe, &c." Sir John, refufing to plead, was not indeed convicted; but two of his companions fuffered the fate of Traitors. In confequence of this violent proceeding, a petition to the following effect; was in this fame year prefented in Parliament by the Commons.

The ordinary Courts of Juftice having affumed to themfelves the privilege of Parliament in deciding many cafes to be High Treafon upon the general charge of incroaching upon the royal power, fo that the accused have loft the benefit of clergy, and the Seigneurs, the advantages arifing from forfeitures; wherefore we pray, that what fhall in future be an incroachment of royal power may be determined in this Parliament." It appears by the Parliament rolls that, in the 25th year of this fame prince, there was another petition of the fame nature from the Commons. Among other things It prays, in allufion to Gerberge's cafe," that retaining a man till he hath made fine or ranfom for his deliverance may not in future be Treason, and that if, in fuch case, or other like, before this time any juftices have judged Treason, and for this caufe the lands and tenements have come into the King's hands as forfeit; the chief Lords of the fee fhall have the efcheats of the tenements holden of them, e." This petition, fupported by a request from the Lords, gave birth to the 25th of Ed. 3d, ftat. 5, c. 2, commonly called the Statute of Treafons. Gerberge's cafe fupplied the Lords and Commons with the immediate ground of their application; but neither they, nor the King, were greatly af fected by it in a public point of view. The ftatute carefully protects the intereft of the chief Lords of fees, but makes not the least mention of the infecurity of the people.'

Our author, undaunted by the authority of names, ventures to differ even from Lord Coke in his expofition of this statute; and we think that he makes that learned Lord appear to have the worst fide of the argument. He treats the question not as a party man, but as a lawyer; difcuffing it in a way which fhews that he is poffeffed of great legal knowlege, and deeply

• Vide Hale's Pleas of the Crown, vol. i. p. 8o, &c,



read in the works of the oldeft and beft-informed writers and commentators on the laws of England.

We will conclude our account of this work,-which, in the perufal, gave us great pleafure, with fome few judicious remarks terminating the author's difcuffion :


Law fhould be something certain. It had better be too severe so that it be certain; than mild and undefined. In the one cafe, the danger is open, and may be avoided in the other, it is covert, and no caution can be fecurity against it. "To denominate a government arbitrary, it is fufficient, fays Montefquieu, that its laws on High Treafon be indeterminate." You have feen that if we abide not

ftrictly by the letter of Edward's ftatute, we are at large upon a boundlefs ocean, without chart or compafs; or, in the strong language of Sir M. Hale, we adopt a method of construction, "which knows no limits, or bounds, and runs as far as the invention of the accufers, and the odioufnefs and deteftation of perfons accufed will carry men."+ Mr. Attorney General and Mr. Windham might, like Trefilian, İ upon a change of political circumftances, fall victims to their own principle of interpretative Treafon; no perfon would for a moment bet fafe: high fighted tyranny might range on until each man drop by lottery."




For JULY, 1795.


Art. 16. A Letter to the Prince of Wales, on a Second Application to Parliament to discharge Debts wantonly contracted fince May 1787. The tenth Edition. 8vo. 25. Owen. 1795. SEVERITY (extreme feverity!) of reprehenfion, energy of admonition, and eloquence of expreffion, are the general characteristics of this epiftle.

On the perufal of the first edition of this celebrated pamphlet, we wondered not at the common coffee-house queftion, [on the first appearance of the Letter]" IS JUNIUS come again?"

Spirit of Laws.'

+ Pleas of the Crown, vol. i. p. 86.'

In the Parliament of the 10th of Richard the 2d, many Lords, and perfons of confequence, obtained by importunity from the King, the grant of a commiffion to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and others, for the reform of grievances. For their earnest and fuccefsful application they were pronounced by Trefilian, the Chief Juftice, and many of the Judges, in answer to a question propofed by Richard, to deferve the fate of traitors. During the fame reign, nay but a few months afterwards, the Judges themfelves were, for this very extrajudicial declaration, convicted of treafon; and Trefilian, the Chief Juftice, hanged, drawn, and quartered. Vide Hale's Pleas of the Crown, vol. i. p. 84, &c.'

Rev. JULY, 1795.

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As to the fubject and tendency of this bold production, it is of a nature fo fingular, that it does not feem altogether expedient for us to expatiate on its contents, in a Literary Journal.

A profecution has been threatened. Whether it has been actually determined to take fuch a measure, with the fanction of PRUDENCE, we have not heard, on fufficient authority but the report of it has been treated with expreffions of high difdain by the incenfed author; who has manfully declared his refolution to give in his name, when occafion demands it, and thus laudably to ftand forth in behalf of his publisher. For himself, he fays, I will chearfully trust my fortune, my liberty, and my reputation, to the verdict of an ENGLISH JURY!'

The preceding editions have been accompanied, refpectively, by new notes, prefaces, and poftfcripts. The price of the later editions has been raifed, on account of the enlargements, to 2s.

Mr. Fox and Mr. Sheridan are treated with great feverity in this tract, on account of their parliamentary condu& with respect to the Prince's debts.

Art. 17. Obfervations on a Letter to the Prince of Wales, &c. 8vo. IS. Griffiths. 1795.

The loyal volunteer, who here steps forwards to aid the caufe of his Royal Highness, endeavours to repel the charges against the Prince by extenuation, and we hope that he is right in many of his fuppoftions but ftill they are only to be confidered as fuppofitions and prefumptions; as apologetical probabilities rather than conclufive arguments. On the whole, our obferver confiders the famous LETTER On which he animadverts, as a party effort, of the democratic caft, to bring royalty itself into contempt with the public:'- another arrow fhot from the bow of flander at the crown, another endeavour to inflame the multitude, and another proof that the cauftics which have lately been applied to treafon and fedition, have not been attended with fuccefs.'

Thefe Obfervations have been afcribed to Mr. Jofeph Mofer. Art. 18. Obfervations on the Situation of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. By John Nicholls, Efq. 8vo. IS. Miller.

Mr. Nicholls, whom we fuppofe to be a gentleman of the law, fets out with obferving that the idea, that the debts of his Royal Highness are to be discharged by the nation, has unneceffarily given national offence; because the Prince is entitled to an exifting fund of bis own, fufficient to the difcharge of all his incumbrances. It is fcarcely neceffary to inform our readers that Mr. N. refers to the revenue of the Duchy of Cornwall.

Mr. N. argues the cafe in a manner which convinces us that he fo clearly understands it, that we fcruple not to recommend his pamphlet to the ferious confideration of the public.

Art. 19. A Letter to Charles Grey, Efq. on his Parliamentary Conduct refpe&ting his Royal Highnefs the Prince of Wales; on a Letter to the Prince of Wales;" and likewife on the " Observations.” 8vo. Is. Crosby.


Much abuse of Mr. Grey, and, in general, of the whole oppofition party; not only on account of their late conduct in parliament refpecting the debts of the Prince of Wales, but, as it should feem, of their being in oppofition at all.-On the other hand, the character and virtues of the royal Timon* are emblazoned with admiration in the moft glowing colours. Even his foibles, whatever of that kind may have been attached to his conduct, are extenuated as Juvenile indifcretions,' of the most excufable and pardonable kind; and all who know the amiable qualities of the P will doubtless accept this as not an unreafonable apology. The author expreffes himself with animation but, on the whole, he appears rather in the light of a virulent party-writer, than of a fair and fkilful defender of the very important caufe which he pleads; and no cause can reap any folid advantage from the intemperance of its advocate, however commendable his zeal, or powerful his exertions !-Whenever he mentions the gentlemen in oppofition, he fails not to ftigmatize them as reformers;' a term which, with the literary partizans on the other fide, is nearly fynonimous with anarchift, or anti-monarchist :-as patriotifm, freedom, and other words of fimilar and heretofore of the most honourable import, are now used as the vehicles of reproach. To fay that a man is a patriot is as bad as to call him fwindler ;-and to ftyle him the friend of liberty is much the fame as to pronounce him a traitor to his king!

Art. 20. The Rights of the Nation and the Wrongs of the Prince; as an
Appendix to the "Letter to the Prince of Wales." 8vo.


From the tranfcript of the title-page, our readers will instantly conclude that the writer of this contraverfial tract is hoftile to the author of the Letter to the Prince; and they will not find themselves miftaken : he is indeed hoitile, to the utmoft verge of party animofity. The debts of the Prince,' fays he, are manifeftly made but a talking horfe to infult his dignity, to difhonour and degrade his character and flation, and on the ruins of these outworks to storm and deftroy the monarchy and conftitution.' Again- He,' meaning the letterwriter, declaims with glowing and graceful inuendos on a mixed motive and double principle. He is against king, prince, and conftitution, because a terrorist and a Painite; he is against the prince and Mr. Fox, &c. becaufe a Pittite. But whether he is only a pretended Painite, and a real Pittite, and a new fpecies of alarmist, may seem a queftion to fome, if not doubtful to all: becaufe decidedly a minif terial inftrument, men confider this as a work of duplicity. Again,

It is not merely the debts of the Prince; the reputation of royalty and monarchy are affected. It is not private honor, private juftice, private credit, or a principle of private honefty between man and man that are at stake, it is become a public question to which monarchy turns, and turning, this terrorift would make "tremble too."

From thefe fhort fpecimens, the reader will infer what manner of man the prefent contraverfialift is,-and what are the general tenour and tendency of his publication.

*The author compliments the P-
A a 2

with this name.


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Art. 21. A Letter to the Houfe of Peers, on the prefent bill depending in Parliament, relative to the Prince of Wales's Debts. By a Hanoverian. 8vo. 15. Lee, Haymarket, &c.

This epiftolary addrefs to the upper-houfe of parliament is not much lefs fevere in argument, though fofter in language, on the alledged indifcretions of his Royal Highnefs, than the famous LETTER which ftands foremost in the prefent feries of tracts on the fubject of the Prince's debts. It is partly ferious, and partly ironical, and is intended to perfuade the Houfe of Lords to reject the bill. It is not ill written, and will, no doubt, make an impreffion on many minds; how far it excited the attention of the noble affembly, to whom it was addreffed, is cafily to be inferred from the fubfequent determination of parliament.

Art. 22. A Letter to the Lord Chancellor, on the Cafe of his Royal Highnefs the Prince of Wales. 8vo. Is. 6d. Becket.

This writer ftrongly and totally difapproves all the late arrangements of ministry and parliament, in respect to the Prince's revenue and debts. He contends, as does Mr. Nicholls, in his Obfervations, &c. (fee Art. 18,) for the Prince's right to the difpofal of the revenues accruing to him, from the hour of his birth, from his principality of Wales and his Duchy of Cornwall; alfo for the expediency of his applying that income to the difcharge of his encumbrances. The author would, at the fame time, allow his Royal Highness also the newly increased parliamentary appointment, or a far greater fum; almot, as it fhould feem, to any extent: fuch enlargement being, in his eftimation, neceffary to fupport the honour and dignity of the heir apparent, and to prevent future applications to parliament, which he confiders as inevitable under the Prince's prefent reftrictions; and fuch enlargements, he farther infifts, are equally neceffary to fupport the honour, the dignity, and even the intereft of the Nation.-The reader who is curious to fee in what manner the author maintains this feemingly paradoxical doctrine, we refer to the pamphlet ; in which are many remarks that merit the attention of Such nations as prefer a government founded on hereditary monarchy, who muft take it with all its imperfections, as a man takes his wife, for better and for worse:' p. 53.

This tract is incorrectly and tediously written: for it abounds with verhouty and repetitions, which may try the reader's chriftian patience; and why not? If that virtue be never exercised, of what ufe is it?

Art. 23. Thoughts on the Prince's Debts. Third Edition; with a Preface, containing an Anecdote. 8vo. Is. 6d. Debrett. We noticed this pamphlet in our Rev. for May, p. 96, 7. additional preface brings forwards an anecdote, (refting on the affertion of the writer,) which honourably refcues the P. from an impu


For the value of thefe revenues, fee Rev. vol. lxxvi. p. 162; where we gave an account of A candid Inquiry into the Cafe of the Prince of Wales, which tract we fuppofe to have been the work of the prefent writer.

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