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giving a clear and definitive acquittal or condemnation by a general ve dict, either for or against the pannel, without a power in the judges, or any other person, to quarrel er gainsay whatever they had done. This was the only point in regard to which there was no diversity of opinion; and jurymen will do well to advert to this in future; because it affords a proper clue to direct their conduct in all cases where they fhall have any doubt, and lets them know what is the only mode of insuring a certain compliance with what they wish fhould be effected.
The opinion of men and of judges respecting criminal jurisprudence has altered very much in every part of Britain within this present century; and from the opinions delivered in this case it appears, that it is only in regard to a very few particulars the law is yet firmly and decidedly fixed. Before the noted trial of Carnegie of Finhaven, the ideas respecting criminal jurisprudence were much lefs liberal than at present; but by the spirited conduct of Mr Dundas, the late respectable president of the Court of Session, who on that occasion, as counsel for the pannel, combated successfully the opinion of the whole bench of judges, he gained immortal honour to himself, and conferred a favour on his country, that ought to render his name respected by every person who knows how to value the blessings of freedom and personal security. The libel in that case bore, "That Mr Carnegie had, with a wicked and malevolent intention, wounded the body of the earl of Strathmore by a sword, of which wound he died;"-and in the pleadings on the relevancy the judges declared, that if the jury should find the simple fact, as there set forth, proven, it was sufficient to infer the pains of death. In this case the judges afsumed to themselves the power of affixing a degree of criminately to the fact libelled, which they contended the jury
had no right to controvert. If they should find the fact proven, the court pretended that they could not deny the guilt. The fact, viz. that Carnegie had wounded lord Strathmore with a sword, of which wound he died, was proven by the clearest and most undeniable evidence; but fortunately for the cause of freedom, the evidence was also so complete with respect to the animus of the unfortunate pannel, as to bring home the most unequivocal.conviction to the heart of every juror, that the pannel had no intention of hurting lord Strathmore in the smallest degree; so that influenced by the powerful reasoning of Mr Dundas concurring with their own strong feelings, they ventured to deviate from the rule that had been prescribed to them, and nobly brought a verdict Nor GUILTY. This event has formed an epoch in Scotland with regard to the power of juries; so that since that time, although men may be found who have endeavoured to imprefs the minds, of the public with regard to the conduct that juries ought to hold, no one has been bold enough to venture to challenge their right of doing what their judgement and conscience may induce them to think proper, however contrary that may be to the opinions of men to whom they would look up with reverence, where they did not evidently wish to exercise a power which the constitution of this country has happily vested in other hands.
Juries cannot surely be too careful in preserving invio. late those sacred privileges which the constitution of this country has vested in them; as upon this bulwark alone we may rely with confidence against the incroachments of arbitrary power, more than upon any other whatever : nor ought any degree of misplaced complaisance ever to induce a jury to strain a point to please any mortal breathing, or to put into the hands of another the power to
April 24. frustrate the intentions they think in their consciences ought to be carried into effect. In doing otherwise every juryman may be considered as guilty of whatever crime may take place in consequence of his relinquishing that honourable post his country has for the time placed him in. It is not many years since a poor ignorant fellow of a recruit was enticed by two artful villains to go with them from the castle of Edinburgh, and after making him nearly drunk, they conducted him into the Meadows, where the two fellows that were with him robbed a gentleman of his watch and some money, and gave to him the watch as his fhare of the booty. The poor fellow no sooner became sober, and found the watch upon him next morning, but having a confused recollection of what had pafsed in the evening, and being opprefsed with anxiety about it, he went and revealed what he knew of it to his officer. One of the culprits made his escape, and the other became king's evidence. It was clearly proven that the poor recruit had been present at the robbery, and that part of the goods taken had been found in his custody. The jury were unanimously of opinion that the man had been inadvertently brought into that distressing situation, and had no evil intention whatever; yet, from some remains of that cruel doctrine operating in their minds, That if the fact were proven, this was all the jury had to do, they very unguardedly brought in a verdict GUILTY; but unanimously recommended the man to mercy, which they were then persuaded would as effectually save him as if they had brought in a verdict NoT GUILTY. The fact showed they were in this case mistaken; for in spite of every pofsible endeavour on their part afterwards, the man was actually hanged. One who was on that jury, since then afsured the Editor, that he would have considered himself as accefsory to the murder of that in
nocent person, if he had not all along contended that they ought to acquit him. Let no jury after this put it in the power of any one to prevent that justice from taking place which it is their province on all occasions impartially to administer.
The constitution of this universe, however, is so happily formed, that every evil tends to lead towards its own cure. A desire to grasp at power, as necefsarily produces a counter desire in others to prevent that power from becoming immoderate, as a substance produces a fhadow. Hence it happens that all the valuable privileges which we in this country so fortunately boast of, have been gradually conferred upon us by attempts to extend authority beyond its due bounds. We have every reason to believe, that should attempts of this kind be made in future, similar happy effects will result from it; so that should a temporary inconvenience be at any time experienced from things of this nature, these ought not to excite extreme uneasiness; they ought only to be marked with care, and a steady eye be kept on that point in future. Whenever an attempt shall be made, in consequence of any accidental inadvertency, to wrest the power from a jury, let that pafs over as a thing of small moment, but let succeeding juries be more careful to guard their just and acknowledged privileges, by giving no handle for any one to interfere with their decrees. Thus fhall the tranquillity of the state be preserved, and the personal security that eyery man ought to prize as the most valuable of his prerogatives, be guarded by his fellow citizens, in whose hands only it can be entrusted with safety.
THE SELF RIVAL, A NOUVELLETTE FROM THE FRENCH.
Concluded from p. 258.
THIS gentleman, who had never been known to trespafs against sincerity, as he had given his word to his future bride, determined not to conceal from her a pafsion so very unexpected. He laid open to her the bottom of his heart, while the only feigned as much jealousy as sufficed to let him know that the loved him; and afterwards exprefsed such resignation and indulgence, and so much confidence in his fidelity, that he could not but execrate himself for having been capable of harbouring any sentiment to her injury. She endeavoured to remove his concern; by high commendations of his extraordinary prudence and resolution, in refusing to see the Espagnoletta unmasked, at the same time advising him that he should see her so. "That, (said fhe,) is the only way of curing you. To be sure the is another creature under the mask than what your inflamed imagination represents her; and fhould the prove to want beauty, you would soon forget her wit." 'No, no, (replied he,) there is nothing like fhunning her ; and this very evening will I beg of my father to put off our marriage for a few days, while I go into the country, where I make no doubt but I shall get the better of this freak; my esteem for you will not allow me to give myself to you in my present distracted state.' “No, no, (says fhe,) I will put you in the surest way to forget the charms of your Espagnoletta; for unquestionably your passion will be cured on seeing her without a mask. You may depend on it; for to tell you the truth, it is no longer ago than yesterday, that one, who knows her perfectly well, was talking of her, and said that except her eyes, she had not a single good feature in her face.' Still the lover in