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Trial and Conviction


Count TARIF F.


"He whole nation is at present very inquisitive after

the proceedings in the cause of goodman Faci, plaintiff, and Count Tariff, defendant; as it was tried on the eighteenth of June, in the thirteenth year of her Majesty's reign, and in the year of the Lord 1713. ! shall therefore give iny countrymen a short and faithful account of that whole matter. And in order to it, must in the first place premise some particulars relating to the person and character of the said goodman Fact.

Goodman Fact is allowed by all to be a plain spoken person, and a man of a very few words. Tropes and figures are his aversion. He affirms every thing roundly, without any art, rhetoric, or circumlocution. He is a declared enemy to all manner of ceremony and complaisance. He fatters no body. Yet so great is his natural eloquence, that he cuts down the finest orator, and destroys the best contrived argument, as soon as egets

himself to be heard. He never applies to the passions or prejudices of his audience: When they listen with attention and honest minds, he never fails of


ver he

carrying his point. He appeared in a suit of English broad-cloth, very plain, but rich. Every thing he wore was substantial, honest, home-fpun ware. His cane indeed came from the East-Indies, and two or three fuperfluities from Turkey, and other parts. It is said, that he

encouraged himself with a bottle of neat Port, before he appeared at the trial. He was huzzaed into the court by several thousands of · Weavers, Clothiers, • Fullers, Dyers, Packers, Calenders, Setters, Silk-men, • Spinners, Dreffers, Whitfters, Winders, Mercers, Throwsters, Sugar-bakers, Diftillers, Drapers, Hofi

ers, Planters, Merchants, and Fishermen;' who all unanimously declared that they could not live above two months longer, if their friend Fact did not gain his cause. Every body was over-joy'd to hear that the good man He no sooner made his

appearance in court, but several of his friends fell weeping at the fight of him: For indeed he had not been seen there three years before.

The charge he exhibited against Count Tariff was drawn up in the following articles


was come to town.

I. That the faid Count had given in false and fraudulent reports in the name of the plaintiff.

II. That the said Count had tampered with the said plaintiff, and made use of many indirect inet hods to bring him over to his party.

III. That the said Count had wilfully and knowingly traduced the said plaintiff, having misrepresented him in many cunningly devised speeches, as a person in the French interest

IV. That the faid Count had averred in the presence of above five hundred persons, that he had heard the plaintiff speak in derogation of the Portuguese, Spaniards,


Italians, Hollanders, and others; who were the persons whom the said plaintiff bad always favoured in his discourse, and whom he should always continue to favour.

V. That the said Count had given a very disadvantageous relation of the three great farıns, which had long flourished under the care and superintendency of the plaintiff.

VI. That he would have obliged the owners of the faid farms to buy up many commodities which grew upon their own lands. That he would have taken away the labour from the tenants, and put it into the hands of strangers. That he would have leffened and destroyed the produce of the said farms.

That by these and many other wicked devices he would have starved many honest day-labourers ; have impoverished the owner, and have filled his farm with beggars, c.

VII. That the said Count had either funk or miflaid several books, papers, and receipts, by which the plaintiff might sooner have found means to vindicate himself from such calumnies, aspersions, and misrepresentations.

In all these particulars goodman Fact was very short but pithy: For, as I said before, he was a plain, home{pun man. His yea was yea, and his nay, nay. He had farther so much of the quaker in him, that he never swore,, but his affirmation was as valid as another's oath.

It was observed that Count Tariff endeavoured to brow-beat the plaintiff all the while he was speaking: But though he was not so impudent as the Count, be was every whit as sturdy; and when it came to the Count's turn to speak, old Fact fo ftared him in the face, after his plain, downright way, that the Count was very often ftruck dumb, and forced to hold his tongue in the middle of his discourse.

More witnesses appeared on this occasion to attest goodman Fatt's veracity, than ever were seen in a court


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of justice. His caufe was pleaded by the ableft men in the kingdom ; among whom was a gentleman of Suffolk, who did hiin signal service.

Count Tarif appeared just the reverse of goodman Fact. He was dressed in a fine brocade waistcoat, curiously embroidered with flower-de-luces. He wore also a broad-brimmed hat, a fhoulder-knot, and a pair of silver-clocked stockings. His speeches were accompanied with much gesture and grimace. He abounded in empty phrases, superficial flourishes, violent affertions, and feeble proofs. To be brief, he had all the French assurance, cunning, and volubility of tongue ; and would most certainly have carried bis cause, had he dealt with any one antagonist in the world besides goodman Faci.

The Count being called upon to answer te the charge which had been made againit him, did it after a manner peculiar to the family of the Tariffs, viz. by railing and calling names.

He, in the first place, accused his adversary of Scandalum Magnatum, and of speaking

against his superiors with fauciness and contempt. As the plain good man was not of a make to have any friends at court, he was a little ftartled at this accusatiun, until at length he made it appear, that it was impossible for any of his family to be either saucy or cringing ; 'for that their character was, above all others in the world, to do what was required of them by the court, that is, TO SPEAK THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.

The Count in the next place assured the court, that his antagonist had taken upon him a wrong name, having curtailed it of two or three letters; for that in reality his name was not Fact but FACTION. The Court was so pleased with this conceit, that for an hour together he repeated it in every fentence ; calling his antagonist's assertions, the reports of faction; his friends, the fons of faction; the testimonies of witnesses, the dictates of faction : Nay, with such a degree of impudence did he push this matter, that when he heard the cries of above a million of people begging for their


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