We may smile at these matters, but they are melancholy illustrations.
Such a prostitution of judicial power can never occur again under the shadow of the British law, for no jury within the wide circle of the empire would submit to such an infraction of their privilege, even if a judge could be found daring enough to attempt it.
My public life is before you; and I know you will believe me when I say, that when I sit down in solitude to the labours of my profession, the only questions I ask myself are, What is right? What is just? What is for the public good?
My books are very few, but then the world is before me - a library open to all - from which poverty of purse cannot exclude me - in which the meanest and most paltry volume is sure to furnish something to amuse, if not to instruct and improve.
Will you permit the sacred fire of liberty, brought by your fathers from the venerable temples of Britain, to be quenched and trodden out on the simple altars they have raised?
Will you, my countrymen, the descendants of these men, warmed by their blood, inheriting their language, and having the principles for which they struggled confided to your care, allow them to be violated in your hands?
They have shrunk from inquiry, though they have strained after punishment. I have in every shape dared the one, that I might, so far as lay in my power, be able to secure the other.
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