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and I, of consequence, conceived the publication of Marcus's letter not alone innocent but praiseworthy, even though it did contain passages which I do not vindicate.
I hope your lordship will take the several circumstances I have stated into consideration. If guilt, my lord, consists in the mind, I solemnly assure you, that I have examined my heart, and find that it perfectly absolves me from all and every criminality of intention; I have only then to inform your lordship, that a heavy fine would be tantamount to perpetual imprisonment, and long imprisonment little short of death; yet whatever punishment you may please to inflict, I trust I have sufficient fortitude arising from my sense of religion, and of the sacred cause for which I suffer, to enable me to bear it with resignation.
Mr. Justice Downes then proceeded to pass sentence upon the prisoner. He told the prisoner he had listened to him with patience; that nothing had fallen from him to induce a mitigation of punishment, except what he had stated of the length of time he had been in confinement, which he would not forget in the sentence; as the time of the imprisonment should commence from the day of the arrest. . That with respect to the libel being published without his immediate knowledge, if this were an excuse, which it was not, no evidence of the fact had been laid before the.jury. Your sentence is," that you be imprisoned for two years froin the day of your arrest, that you stand in the pillory for one hour, pay a fine of 201. and at the expiration of your confinement, give security, yourself in 500l. and two sureties in 250l. each, for your good behaviour for seven years."
SATURDAY, Dec. 30.
This day Peter Finerty, pursuant to his sentence, stood one hour in the pillory opposite to the Session-house in Green-street; an immense concourse of people attended the exhibition. Mr. Finerty was accompanied by some respect able citizens. He appeared resigned, and upon being released from the restraint of the governmental engine for securing the liberty of the press, he addressed the spectators in a few words :-“ My friends, you see how cheerfully I can suffer -I can suffer any thing, provided it promotes the liberty of my country!" Upon this the spectators applauded by clapping of hands. Some of the guards, being, we suppose, the picked men of the Armagh militia, attacked the unarmed people---some of the officers also were guilty of similar conduct; others, both officers and privates, acted like gentlemen and soldiers.
COUNSEL for the crown. The Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, the Prime Serjeant, Messrs. Ridgeway, Townsend, and Worthington; agent, Mr. Kemis.
COUNSEL for the prisoner. Messrs. Curran, Fletcher, M'Naily, Sampson, Sheares, and Orr; agent, Mr. Dowling.
THE IRISH NATION.
SINCE the conviction and sentence passed on the printer of The Press, a clause has been pointed out by the commissioners of stamps, which lay lurking in one of the late parliament's acts, unknown to the lawyers : whereby, a printer convicted of a libel shall be deprived of his property in the paper in which it had been inserted. By this law, in conformity with all the other acts of parliament, which, in the words of a great and good man," has taken more from the liberties, and added more to the burdens, of the people," and I may say, stained the statute book with more penal laws, than any parliament that ever yet existed; it has become necessary, that on the spur of the instant, from this unforeseen clause, another proprietor should come forward to save the IRISH Press from being put down. To perform that sacred office to this best benefactor of mankind, has devolved upon me; and rest assured, I will discharge it with fidelity to you and our country, until some one more versed in the business can be procured.
Every engine of force and corruption has been employed by those ministers, into whose hands, unfortunately for the present peace and future repose of the nation, unlimited power has been invested, to discover whether I was proprietor of the press. Had they sent to me, instead of lavishing your money amongst perjurers, spies, and informers, I would have told them, what I now tell you, that I did set up The Press, though, in a legal sense, I was not the proprietor; nor did I look to any remuneration ; and I did so, because from the time that, in violation of property, in subversion of even the appearance of respect for the laws, and to destroy not only the frecdom of the press itself, the present ministers demolished the Northern Star; no paper in Ireland, either from being bought up, or from the dread and horror of being destroy. ed, would publish an account of the enormities which these very ministers had been committing; where they not only suffered a lawless banditti of sworn extirpators to destroy the property, to raze the habitations, and to drive thousands of ruined families to the most distant parts of the country, for want of protection; but where the strongest suspicions rested, that they had given encouragement to such diabolical acts, under the name of loyalty, and the mask of religion; where they let loose an excited soldiery, to commit 1 acts of outrage which no invading army of any country in Europe would have practised, without violating those laws established among civilized nations; where the torch had consumed their houses and property in entire districts, and summary murders had been wantonly perpetrated; where thousands have been hurried into those multiplied dungeons, and hundreds sent to the gallows “on suspicion of being suspected" of reform and union; and above all, where TORTURE has been applied in numerous instances to extort confession, of what, by the insurrection act, has been judged worthy of death, but as I read it, by the strictest rules and injunctions of christian morality, has been enforced as a paramount duty. That torture which our ancestors held in such inveterate abhorrence, that its utter exclusion was esteemed so fundamental a part of our constitutional code, that neither that Stuart, nor his ministers, whose heads paid the forfeit of the crimes they committed, nor the ministers of that Stuart who was expelled, durst introduce it.
I could cite hundreds of facts to substantiate the suppression
* This phrase originated with Robespierre and his bloody associates during the days of terror in Paris.
of the publication of these enormous atrocities; but I will confine myself to the mention of one, which has come within my own knowledge. Whilst I was confined in the tower, the soldiers who were stationed all around it, fired up at the prison; and on being asked why they had fired, without having challenged, or any pretext for so doing, they answered, “that they had acted according to the orders they had got.' As I was the only person confined in the prison, no doubt could remain that these orders were issued for the purpose of assassination. A gentleman who had been an eyewitness of the attempt, took a statement of facts to the Evening Post, which was at that time esteemed the least corrupted paper in Dublin ; but the editor told him that fearing that his house and his press might experience the fate of the Northern Star, he would not insert it; although the next day, not only that print, but every other paper in town, contained an account of the transaction, in which there was not one word of truth, except the admission that the shots had been fired !
From the moment I was enlarged from the tower, I de. termined to free the press from this dastardly thraldom; that the conduct of those ministers might be faithfully published; and whilst a beloved brother is confined in a cell nine feet square,* against every form of law, and the plighted faith of this administration, I take this opportunity to call on Lord Camden, to tell you and the world, what inquiry has been made, or what punishment has been inflicted on the perpetrators of an act, which, if brought home to his administration, must affix a greater stain on his name, than the ever memorable days of September have indelibly left on Robespierre and his gang of assassins; whose government was supported by burning of houses, destruction of property, massacreing the people, and crowding the galleys and dungeons, but for which he, even Robespierre, disdained to