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, and Tour through Holland.

the plaintiff. They were not satisfied with attacking one of the books that he had written, but the whole, viz. Stranger in France, Northern Summer, Tour round the Baktic, Stranger in Ireland, Another work, written by sir John Carr, viz. A Tour through Scotland, never had been published, in consequence, as he would prove, of the book published by the defendants. In the front of that book, which they entitled “My Pocket Book,” is a frontispiece representing the departure of the plaintiff from Ireland ; and in page 29, preface, an explanation of that fromtispiece, which commences with “ You shall see what you shall see, the knight errant's regret at leaving Ireland,” a gro

tesque figure, with a handkerchief to his eyes, a number of ridiculous figures fol

lowing him, setting up the Irish howl; a huge porter, carrying his MS. travels, which are so heavy, that the weight of them obliges him to bend under them ; in one hand he carries the Wardrobe of the knight errant, encompassed in a small

pocket handkerchief, Sc. The publication

itself commences by observing, that the writings of the plaintiff consisted of nothing worth paying for, except the fine binding, the fine paper, and the goodness of the print ; and there was nothing to recommend them except the wideness of the margins. The defendants had not been satisfied with publishing one edition of this book, but they had published three, and had advertised and circulated it most industriously. This morning there was one purchased at the defendant's shop, entio tled ‘‘ a third edition.” If this was not the case, it was for the defendant to prove it; for he understood it was often advertised to be the tenth edition of a book when there were not fifteen copies of the first disposed of. He would prove that the publication complained of had injured the plaintiff as 2n author ; that he would have got £600 for the Tour in Scotland, if it had not been for this book. There was no man that would wish to give the reviewers a greater scope than he would; but he could not justify then in making a mi'chievous attack on an author; they might as well attack his person; for when they scurrilously attacked his works, it was injuring him in the most essential point. He did not doubt but there might be some foolish passages in it, but, when the raviewer criticises, he ought to pick out those passages, and not condemn the

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for the purpose of ridiculing the works of

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not inform him. He also purchased a . Monthly Review, called “The Mirror,” for April and June last, which had the advertisement of “My Pocket Book” inserted in them.—Lord ElleNBorough here observed, that if a man published a foolish thing, every person had a right to say so. The liberty of the press would be completely done away, if it was not the case.-- Mr. Jonsso N, bookseller, St. Paul's church-yard, deposed, that he purchased the manuscript of The Stranger in France from the plaintiff for £100.Sir Rich ARD PHILLIPs deposed, that he purchased from the plaintiff his Northern Summer Tour round the Baltic for .t500. ; The Stranger in Ireland he gave him .#700. for ; and for his Tour through Holland, GOOl. He had seen the manuscript of the Tour through Scotland, and would have given GOU) if it had not been for “My Pocket loook,” which he heard had depreciated the works of the plaintiff so much, that it deterred hism. The witness met the defendant, Hood, one day, who asked him, had he read his “Pocket Book" witness told him he had not, for he never

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“ any man in London, but never published “any without the name of the author. * Although he might have read one or two “ numbers of “The Edinburgh Review,” “ when it was first published, he did not “ recollect having read any other. When he “ was first in the trade, he used to attach “ to his advertisements the criticisms of “ Reviewers on books which he published, ‘ but for the last six years he had ceased to “ do so. As they crept into vice, he crept ‘ into virtue. He left it off, as he ‘ thought it was only encouraging scurri‘lity. He had printed and published “Anec“ dotes of the Founders of the French Revo“lution.” It was an anonymous publication, “ that is, it was a detail of facts, without any “ author's name. There was nothing li“bellous, nothing scurrilous, in it ; he “never published a libel in his life ; if he “ had, he would be ashamed to come into “ that court to give evidence. He did not “know that every thing it contained was “fact, but it was given by the author as a “ plain narrative of facts. He had publish“ed “The Oxford Review;” that was also an “ anonymous publication, but he did it

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knight had either given false evidence, or

Review,” as he found it did not answer; as nothing but scurrility met with encouragement from the public. — Mr. LEIGH, of the house of Mathews and Leigh, deposed, that Sir John Cair had offered to him the “ Tour in Scotland” for sale, which he would have bought, and given him 400l. for, if it had not been for the unfavourable impression “My Pocket Book” had made on him.— Lord Mount No RE is deposed, that he had read “ The Stranger in Ireland,” and “My Pocket-Book,” chapter by chapter, and he had no doubt in his mind but that “My Pocket-Book” was written to ridicule “ The Stranger in Ireland.” The plaintiff had been recommended to him . as a gentleman, and he was pleased to have found that he had spoken so hand-somely of his native country, Ireland; and would have purchased a copy of the book, if it had not been so much depreciated by the publication of “My Pocket Book.” The noble lord was cross-examined by . the Attorney-General, who observed, that . he was happy to have the honour of ad- . dressing a nobleman of letters, instead of . the knight who lived by letters, and , knew nothing more of them than the , livelihood which they afforded him. His . lordship said, that he had read the books over with great attention, and thought , “My Pocket-Book” was a fair and just . criticism on the other.—Lord Vale NTIA . corroborated the evidence of his noble fa- . ther.—The ATToRNEY-GENERAL, coun

sel for the defendant, stated, that he ne- .

wer found himself more perfectly happy . than in addressing the jury in defence of . his clients. His mind was perfectly at . ease as to the verdict they would give. His . learned friend, in the opening, had charged him, by anticipation, with what . was charged against his client. But he would assure him he was mistaken; for whatever foolish expressions he bad made . use of, he would not criticise or comment

on them. In the first place, they had the evidence of Sir Richard Phillips. The

he was the greatest fool that ever walked

over earth. [Lord Ellenborough observed

that he thought “ the weakest man” would be more appropriate.] The Attorney-General then continued. He had said “the gle test fool," but his lordship thought “the weakest man” was the more proper; then let it be “ the weakest man ;” if sir Richard Phillips had been living when Erasmus was writing, he would have given any money for hia.

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The book published by the defendants had done nothing more than it ought to have done, and what an honest criticism ought to do. This had been proved by the earl of Mountuorris, who was going to purchase “ The Stranger in Ireland,” until “ My Pocket Book” had shewn him its real merit, when he very properly declined to purchase it; and had not his lordship given it in evidence, that he thought it, after comparing them both together, a fair criticism : The plaintiff went to Ireland ; he was knighted there; and this he thought was sufficient to make him commence author. His name was to sell the book, and he dressed it out in red morocco, with a wide margin, superior print and paper, and this was thought by the plaintiff sufficient to insure a sale ! And what had “My poor Pocket Book" done Nothing more than what itself would have done—shewn its true merits. It was like a coal porter in a fashionable suit of clothes; his outside was genteel, but the moment he opened his mouth to speak, you discovered the cheat. So with “ The Stranger in Ireland”—the moment you opened it, your expectations were disappointed. There never was an author of merit whose works were not attacked, but the merit of the work silenced the attacker. Socrates was a great author, and he was reviewed by Aristotle, who was also a great writer; yet it did not affect the merits of the works of Socrates. In the present case, if it was a work of merit, “ My Pocket Book" would not have injured it. He was sorry to have taken up so much of the time of the court and jury; still he wished to speak to them on the subject; for the action appeared more grotesque than the frontispiece complained of. What could be more ridiculous 2 A book is published, open to the inspection of every person, containing the most nonsensical ideas that could enter the brain of man ; another person criticises it: he türns it into ridicule; and prevents a portion of the public from throwing away their money upon nonsense. In doing this, the critic had done public service, and he trusted the jury would feel it as such, and give a verdict for the defendants. Lord FileNBorough said, that every man who wrote counrnitted himself to the judgment of the pullic, and every one might comment upon his work.. If the commentator did not step aside from the work, or introduce fiction for the purpose

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fair legitimate right. In the present case,

“ the plaintiff had embodied himself in

“ his work; the principal part of his tour

“ was eoncerning himself, and, therefore,

“ placing him in Dęblin, and the long “ coach waiting for him, was not irrelevant

“ to the subject. Had the party writing “ the criticism followed the plaintiff out of “ his book into domestic life for the purpo“ ses of slander, that would have been li“ bellous ; but not otherwise. To repress “just criticism would be extremely injurious to society. If a work was sent into the world that was likely to disseminate a “ bad taste, or was destructive of public “ morals, it was of the first importance to correct and expose it. Society, in that “ case, was indebted to the critic.—His lordship then alluded to the advancement of philosophy and science by the opposition

‘‘ one great man had offered to another, and r

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General on that subject. If an individial, he said, presented the public with an “ outline sketch of himself, that public had a right to finish the picture ; and if the criticism was a fair one, the author must take the consequences of it. His “ lordship added, that he did not know of any thing more threatening to the liberty of the press, than the species of action le. fore the court; and he would again repeat, “ that if the publication complained of was “ a fair criticism, and the author had not “ travelled out of the work he criticised for “ the purpose of slander, the action would not lie; but if the jury could see any “ thing personally slanderous against the plaintiff, unconnected with the work he “ had given to the public, in that case, the plaintiff had his right of action, and they would find accordingly.—The jury con: sulted together a few minutes, and found for the defendants." This is all very true, though I do not like the words fair and

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just, as used here to qualify the term criti

cism. The distinction between the man's domestic affairs and his book is clear enough but, as long as I write about the book and the abilities of the author and the motives, or probable motives, of his writing, and the disposition of mind which the book displays, I cannot safely trust any one to decide, whether my criticism be fair or unfair, just or unjust ; that is to say, if the decisiou is to affect my person or property. The critic is an author as well as the writer of the book. The criticism may be criticised ; and, in both cases, the public are the sole judges of what is fair, or unfair, of what is just, or unjust. Other

repeated the observations of the Attorney wise, and if these qualifications are admissible, the courts of justice are to be looked to in matters of taste; they are to decide every literary dispute ; and here, as well as elsewhere, we shall be unable to open our mouths without having a lawyer for our guide and assistant. I will not answer for the correctness of this report of the Chief Justice's speech. He might not mean, that a man was punishable, by law, for unfair or unjust criticism ; and, I am in hopes, that the decision, upon this occasion, will make the stupid authors feel, that they cannot worry a man of talents to death merely because he has exposed their stupidity. It does not appear, from this report, whether Sir Richard Phillips came forward voluntarily, or was forced forward, in behalf of his brother knight; but, to be sure, it was quite good to hear him say, that he never read scandalous or anonymous publications, when he was the sole or part owner of so many works of the latter description ; when he was part owner of a Review, and the sole owner of the “Anecdotes,” than which there is not, perhaps, a more false and scandalous book in the English language, that is to say, if falsehood and scandal do not lose their nature when applied to French men and French women, and when they obtain circulation because they are calculated to gratify pre-conceived malice and hatred. The work of Messrs. Hood and Sharpe not only injured Sir John Carr, but Sir. Itichard Phillips also; for, observe, he is the propriefor of Sir John's first work, the very work that was criticised, and the sale of which must, of course, be greatly injured, if not totally stopped, by a criticism, which had stifled the second work in its shell. So that Sir Richard Phillips was, in fact, a person deeply interested ; and, though this circumstance would not alter the fact which he had to state, it would naturally give a tinge to any sentiment that he had to express. lap, however, utterly astonished, that any word should have dropped from him calculated to throw odium upon those who endeaYour to make a free use of the press. What would it have been to him, if those bundles of trash, labelled “The Stranger in Ireland,” had been sent, as they now, in all probability, will be, to the trunk-makers, or the paste-board mill? Was this vile rubbish worth the risk of His being exposed to the imputation of Wishing to see a brother bookseller suffer for having published a book operating to his inJury I do not impute this wish to him. On the contrary, I sincerely believe him, who Isavery kind and good as well as a very clever man, to have entertained no such wish; but,

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certainly, his evidence, as stated in the newspapers, is likely to make the public inter such an imputation, The fact, I would almost lay my lite, was this : between a bookseller and an author there necessarily arises, particularly if the latter be a person of some consequence, a greater or less degree of that sort of intimacy, which, as the fashion of the world goes, is denominated friendship. Sir John Cair appears to be a man not likely to lose anything for the mere want of asking for; and, he would easily find the means of committing Sir Richard so far as to bring him into court with sentiments favourable to his cause. The moment a man islashed, or exposed, he, according to the cant of the day, cries out libeller. Libeller is echoed by his friends; and, after hearing this in half a dozen places, he naturally begins to turn himself towards the law for redress, especially if he find himself incapable. of defending himself with his pen. It was thus that the quack in America acted towards me. He began the publications. He issued his destructive prescriptions through the news-papers. I answered his publications; I reduced him to silence, and finally drove him and his death-doing practice out of the city. Unable to defend himself, he had recourse to the lawyers; and, with the assistance of such judges and jurors as are to be found in great abundance in his country, gave me a dose almost as injurious as he would have sent me from his own shop. Of all the acts, of which a man can be guilty, none is so mean, none is so base, none is so truly detestable, as that of seeking, through the law, vengeance for a literary defeat. If this were to be tolerated; if exposing a man's abilities to ridicule were to be deemed libelling, and to be punished as such, who, unless he had a long purse, and a body of iron, would dare to attempt the task of criticising the works of a rich m on 2 Every wealthy fool might publish his tras in perfect security, and that, too, without being under the necessity of treating and bribing the Reviewers. No man would dare expose his folly or imbecility; for, at any rate, the tormentors of the law would

be set upon the critic, who, as his least pu

nishment, would be half ruined in his defence. There would be nothing, however infamous as well as foolish, that a poor writer would dare to comment upon with freedom. He must wite in trantnels so tight as to render his efforts of little or no effect. There would, it short, be a general license for folly and wickedness, when backed by wealth; and still there would be scoundrels so impudent, as to call upon us

to deny ourselves almost the necessaries of life, and to expose life itself, for the purpose of preserving, what they would still call the liberty of the press. The evil would go yet further; for the rich bookseller would become a persecutor as well as the wealthy fool who writes. His purse would be a shield for a dozen or two of dull doctors whom he keeps in his pay, and by the means of whose imposture-like performances he increases his fortune. Well might Lord Ellenborough say, that “ he knew of no“ thing more threatening to the liberty of “ the press than this species of action." Eut, how stands the case with regard to poiblications touching the words, or conduct, of persons in general, and particularly members of the government 2 Is it not dangerous to the liberty of the press to lay it down as a maxim, that their abilities are not to be ridiculed ; that you are to say nothing at all which hurts their feelings, without exposing yourself to punishment Reports of trials are, in general, not very correct; the whole of the places where trials are held are so crowded with lawyers, to whom, indeed, they are almost exclusively appropriated, that it is extremely difficult for any reporter to obtain the accommodation necessary for the making of notes. I do not, therefore, give the words of my motto as words actually uttered by Lord Ellenborough, but merely as words published in the several news papers, as having been uttered by him, upon the occasion alluded to. As such, they must lave produced a great deal of effect; and, 1...ere is no doubt in my mind, that the doctrine they contain has encouraged Sir John Carr, knight, to bring the action, the fate of which is above recorded. Let us hope however, that this dangerous doctrine is now exploded as completely as if the Whigs had kept their words after they got their places, and made it a soject of discussion in parliament; for, I believe, it will be very difficult to produce any solid reason, why a man should have the liberty to hurt the feelings of an author any more than to hurt the feelings of a minister of state; why he should be allowed to ridicule the abilities of the former any more than the abilities of the latter ; why it should be an offence worthy of penal visitation in the former case any more than in the latter case. I cannot discover any grounds for a distinction ; and, therefore, I conclude, that if we should, by any accident, see a fool in office, we are at liberty to expose his folly, and to convince the nation, that the managenient of their as its is in bad bands. Indeed, the real use of the liberty of the press is to cause the exposure of weak and wicked

public servants. It is of comparatively trifl

ing consequence what men publish in books.

Five hundred people, perhaps, never saw,

or heard of, Sir John Carr's trash ; and, if it could have been read by the whole nation,

it is not likely that it would have done either

harm or good. But, in the ability and

honesty of men in office, every person in the

country is deeply interested, and therefore ought to be regularly and minutely informed upon the subject. Upon matters of taste in books, of what consequence is it whether the people are well-informed or ill-informed? But, upon matters closely connected with the prosperity and honour of the country, it is of great importance that they should lack no information that can possibly be communicated to them. Well, then, how is this information to be given How, if not through an unshackled press, a press restrained only from uttering falsehood, according to the old language and practice of the law Suppose I had been in battle with a general, and had seen him run from the enemy, beating him in swiftness as shamefully as a March hare beats a lurcher; suppose I had seen this, or received good information of it, would it not be very ne: cessary to make the fact known, in order to prevent such a winged-heeled fellow from again exposing the lives of the army and bringing disgrace upon the nation 2 Suppose I had an opportunity of knowing several men, pretending to office and power, to be totally unqualified for any business and totally unworthy of any trust; would it not be very useful to communicate my knowledge to the public Or, suppose me to have merely an opinion relating to public men, how do we arrive at the best chance of forming correct notions as to things unknown, except it be by expressing our opinions to one another 2 Nor, can I see what mischief could arise from carrying the same liberty into the discussions relative to the private affairs of men. Suppose, for instance, I say, that Mr. such an one is a contented cuckold ; that he has received proof quite sufficient that his wife has had a child by another man; but that, in consideration of a good sum of money, paid him by the principal cuckolder, he holds his tongue, and, as the old saying is, puts his horns in his pocket. This is, indeed, to suppose a strong case; but, such a case may possibly exist; and, if it does, should not such a man be pointed out? Ought not the mean scoundrel to be held up to the ridicule and scorn of the world who other way is there of correcting such disgraceful and perpicious vices Suppose me

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