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employ torture to extort confessions of patriotism, which this sanguinary usurper punished as treason. Whenever it shall happen, that one or a few base usurpers 'shall have seized on a nation's civil and political rights; and that they shall have sold them to a neighbouring country, in the rank. est and foulest corruption and treason; whenever it shall happen, that to heal religious dissension, to promote universal philanthropy, true christian charity, and national union, and to establish the imprescriptible right of being represented, which no people can forfeit, shall be punished by legalized murder; trust me, the most drowsy conscience, stung by public exposure, will make every effort by bribery, by violence, and by persecution and robbery, to put down the press. But regarding it as the great luminary which has dispelled the darkness in which mankind lay brutalized in ignorance, superstition, and slavery-regarding it as that bright constel. lation, which, by its diffusion of light, will at length restore the nations to knowledge and freedom-whilst, therefore, I can find one single plank of the scattered rights of my country to stand on), I will fix my eyes on THE Press, as the polar-star which is to direct us to the haven of FREEDOM.
With these sentiments engraven on my heart; alive to the honest ambition of serving my country; regardless whether I am doomed to fall by the lingering torture of a solitary dungeon, or the blow of the assassin ; if the freedom of the press is to be destroyed, I shall esteem it a proud destiny to be buried under its ruins. But, if there be any man so base or so stupid as to imagine that they can usurp or withhold your. civil and political rights; that they can convert truth into sedition, or patriotism into treason; if they imagine that this is a period favourable for abridging the freedom of mankind, or establishing despotic power on the ruins of liberty, let them look round them, and they will find, that amongst the old and inveterate despotisms in Europe, some have been destroyed, and the rest are on the brink of destruction. They may make martyrs, and liberty's roots will be fertilized by the blood of the murdered; but if their deeds and their blunders have not made reflection a horror, let them look back on the five years that are passed, and they will see that they have been the most destructively rapid revolutionists that ever yet existed; they will see that Great Britain and Ireland, from the portion of rights they enjoyed, which were the nations of Europe where revolution was least necessary, and where it might have been most easily saved, are now nearest the danger. But let them reflect ere it is too late, and it is never too late to abandon a ruinous course, that if they could establish lettres de cachet in place of habeas corpus and trial by jury; if the galleys and bastiles of despotism could be erected in place of the prisons of law; if they could abolish every idea of representation, and establish chambers of registering their requisitions and edicts; if instead of the press of the nation, they could set up the gazette of the court; if they could abolish that great constitutional principle, that no man could be forced to his own crimination, and establish the torture to extort confession; they should recollect, that, like France, instead of preventing a revolution, they would but create so many powerful causes to excite the people to make one;-and whilst tyrannic despots talk so much of supporting the constitution they have đone so much to destroy, let them remember, that if it owes much to obedience, it owes more to resistance ; and that the feelings of a people must determine where crimes and sufferings shall end the one and begin the other.
OF PATRICK FINNEY, FOR HIGH TREASON.
COMMISSION OF OYER AND TERMINER.
ON Tuesday, the 16th of January, 1798, Patrick Finney was put to the bar, and charged with high treason, in compassing the death of the king, and for adhering to the king's enemies, that is, to the persons who exercise the powers of government in France, &c.
ABSTRACT OF THE INDICTMENT.
First count. That Patrick Finney, yeoman, on the 30th day of April, in the 37th of the king, and divers other days, at the city of Dublin, being a false traitor, did compass and imagine the death of our said lord the king, and did traitorously and feloniously intend our said lord the king to kill, murder, and put to death. To this were added twelve overt acts.
The second count, for “adhering to the king's enemies within the realm,” was supported by the same number of overt acts.
· The Attorney-General began, by showing, that the prisoner, Patrick Finney, stood indicted on a charge of high treason, of which there are several species; he stated two as applying to the charge-one was the compassing the death of the king, and the other adhering to the king's enemies.
On the first of these, compassing the death of the king, he -stated the meaning of the law. This species of high treason did not alone consist in a direct attack on the king's person; the preservation of his majesty's life depends much on the tranquillity of the state; any attempt, therefore, to interrupt that must affect the safety of the king; as for instance, if war be levied within these realms, the king, as first magistrate, and engaged in the restoration of public tranquillity, must have his life put in danget, and this inference being equally plain, if a direct attack be not made upon his life, there is nevertheless an indirect one; and thus the law construes such levying of war within the realm, a compassing the death of the king.
Mr. Attorney-General here recapitulated the several overt acts laid in the indictment, observing thereon, that if the jury should find any of them satisfactorily proved against the prisoner, and also in the application of the charge of high treason, they would, in such case, find that verdict which a due sense of duty to their king and country would promptthat the whole of the facts laid in the indictment would be so proved, he was instructed, confidently to expect from the evidence which he would produce; but if, on the contrary, the prisoner should prove innocent, none would participate more in the satisfaction which such an event would excite in the human breast, than the officers of the crown, by whom the prosecution was conducted.
EVIDENCE ON THE PART OF THE CROWN.
James O'Brien deposed, that on the 25th of April last, he met at the door of a public-house in Thomas-street, and in com pany with the prisoner Finney, a man named Hyland, with whom he was acquainted; that Hyland asked him if he was UP? The witness expressing ignorance of what he meant, Hyland said, “ It is a wonder, James, you're not up," and
Finney explained it to signify a man's being a United Irishman, and advised him to become one, or he might lose his life before he went half the length of the street, and if he went into the house he should know the particulars ; witness accordingly went into the public house, and entered a room where there were ten more persons, one of whom, named Buckley, asked the prisoner, Finney, “ if he had caught a bird,” adding, that he, O'Brien, should never leave that until made a christian of. He was then sworn to secrecy, and also to the constitution oath of the United Irishmen, by Finney and Hyland, in presence and hearing of the prisoner, who told witness that every man rich and poor, who was not a United Irishman, very shortly would lose his life.
O'Brien deposed, that he took the oaths from fear of his life. After paying a shilling, said to be for the goud of the cause, he was initiated into the signs and words of the society. The Sunday following was appointed to meet at the widow Cochlan's, on the Coombe, where Finney said the witness would be fura ther enlightened. Recollected that there was a printed paper read, which stated among other things, that any placeman, and pensioner, who was not a United Irishman, should lose his life. Being permitted to depart, on his way home, he recollected that persons entering into the societies of defenders, were taken up if discovered; so he determined to inform Mr. Higgins, a magistrate of the Queen's county, of what had passed, and did ; he was advised to continue some time in the society; went to the following meeting at Newmarket, on the Coombe, and was admitted on the pass word " Mr. Greene;" at this meeting, much conversation was held about their strength in men and arms-went to the Sheaf of Wheat in Thomas-street, the Sunday after, and was admitted on the pass word “ Mr. Flail ;" there were sixty persons in the room, having been counted by the prisoner at the bar, who advised a division of them into splits, each to consist of twelve; that they were accordingly so subdivided, and to each split there was elected a secretary and cashkeeper; after which,