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execution. The eloquence of their,
valour was so captivating, that they - at first obtained an assent to their proposal, but on second thought the gentlemen who they had waited upon, conceived it quite as proper and becoming to remain at home. Whether they were informed of this defection from their number or not, did not appear; certain it was, that they themselves (accompanied by one whose youth, and inexperience, seemed to have placed him under the complete controul of persons anxious to reduce him to the degraded level of their own depravity,) proceeded most gallantly to the woods, not only armed with sticks, and bludgeons, but with fire arms likewise ; and that the King's and hon. company's uniform might not, for the first time, be worn by midnight assassins, they had the grace, or, more properly speaking, the precaution, to sally forth disguised in colored clothes. To the last hour of their lives they probably would have reason to be thankful to providenee that by some means or other the Dutchmen passed to their own home without being perceived ; for, if a rencontre had taken place, nothing seemed more probable than that blood would have been spilt, and he could tell Mr. Mac
guire and Mr. Cauty this, that if a life had been lost in the affray, however little it might have been their intention to carry things to that extremity, it would have been murder in the eye of the law, and as sure as God created them and him, they should have both stood at the bar where they were now placed to take their trial, and answer for their conduct with their lives. But though such a fate had been averted, it would be the duty of the Jury, and their satisfaction also, to shew their sense of what had actually happened, by finding a verdict for the conspiracy to assault, if the case on that head was made out against them. It would then be for the court to assert its insulted dignity by its sentence on such offenders; persons who appear to have set all law, all order, all decency at defiance, and who had been too long suffered to infest society, and to insult, and outrage the virtuous and peaceable part of the community. Their career he hoped was drawing towards its close, and it would always afford him the highest gratification to reflect that he had contributed in some degree to accelerate its termination. The evidence that was now adduced fully confirmed every part of Mr. Thriepland's statement. It particularly appeared that the prisoners carried loaded fire arms to the woods along with them, and an expression of Mr. Macguire's was positively sworn to, that “If the Dutchmen proved Olstropulous he had a pair of Peppers at their service.” In the defence it was attempted to be shewn that, though a purpose of the kind mentioned in the indictment had been entertained at an early part of the evening, it had been abandoned before the party set out for the woods, where their only attraction was a Punch house, at which uncommon good ham could be procured for supper, while the expected attack of Pariar Dogs, in their progress thither, afforded an excuse for proceeding armed. This defence, however, having altogether failed, the Jury, after a most eloquent, and impressive charge from the Hon the Recorder, returned a Verdict of guilty against both defendants. Mr. Thriepland then moved that they might stand committed, which was ordered accordingly; and that they be brought up to receive sentence on the 30th instant. On which day the court being moved for judgment on the part of the crown, and nothing having been alleged to arrest the same, or in mitigation of punishment, except the sentence of a Court Martial, published the day before by which it appeared that both defendants were dismissed the service for a different offence, the Hon. the Recorder addressed them to the following effect : BRYAN MAcc U1R e AND GeoRef. CAUTY. You have been convicted of the offence of conspiring to waylay, and assault, by night, two unarmed foreigners, John and Jacob Vandersloot, and it appears that you lay in wait for them to execute your design with the assistance of two other persons, all of you armed with bludgeons, pistols, or muskets. Your avowed motive for this barbarous project of revenge was, that one of these foreign gentlemen had brought an action against one of you in this Court. ---The observations which you have now made on the evidence in support of this charge would have been too late even if they had been new or important. I am not the judge of evidence— To Dr. Edward Jenner, Berkeley, Glocestershire. Sir, The principalinbabitants of Calcutta and its dependencies, having sometime ago resolved to present you with a testimonial of their gratitude for the benefit which this settlement, in, common with the rest of mankind, has derived from your inestimable discovery of a preventive of the small pox, and having appointed us a committee for carrying their resolution into effect, it is with the highest satisfaction that we now discharge the duty committed to us, by transmitting to you herewith bills drawn on the honourable Court of Directors to the amount of three thousand pounds sterling. Duplicates and triplicates of these bills, together with the remainder of the subscription, (about one thousand pounds) will be hereafter forwarded to you by the first favourable opportunities. - We have the honour to be, &c. R. P. SMITH, H. T. Colf Brooke, J. FleMING, JAMES ALEXANDER, Per Charger. Calcutta, May 17th, 1806.
That is the province of the Jury, and after their verdict I can see only with their eyes, and hear only with their ears. But in fact you have now only repeated the observations which you made on your trial, which I then stated to the jury, and which they did well to disregard. It is now therefore my duty to pronounce the judgment of this court upon you, and I should content myself with the above statement of the nature and circumstances of your offence, if I were not induced to make a few observations by some faint hope of being useful to you, and by a strong sense of the duty which any man of experience owes to the numerous inexperienced young men, who are deprived so early of parental guidance, and who may see in your deplorable, but most instructive example, how easily conviviality may degenerate into excess, and how infallibly habitual excess, with its constant attendant, bad society, leads to such unhappy situations as those in which you now stand. I know that the brutish vice of drunkenness, with all the noisy and turbulent vices which follow in her train, has a false exterior of spirit and manliness, which sometimes seduces weak and ignorant boys, not that this can be said in this case. A plan for overpowering two defenceless men under cover of darkness, with more than double their number, armed with . deadly weapons, can have nothing attractive to any but such as are “ the stain of manhood and of arms.” But I know that the mischievous character from which such, acts spring sometimes dazzles and allures inexperienced eyes. Let me rub off a little of the varnish which hides from them its deformity. A disposition to engage in - quarrels
quarrels, and broils, is not, as they may suppose, a mere excess of the martial spirit which is to actuate them on greater occasions. It is the very reverse of it. It is as unmilitary as it is unsocial and immortal. It is an offence against the first principle which holds armies together. It is a violation of that prompt, eager, active obedience to authority, far more necessary in armies than in any other bodies of men, and without which they must speedily degenerate into a ferocious rabble. One of the greatest and wisest men has, in one comprehensive sentence, concentrated every thing that ean be said on the relation of an army, to the internal order of the state. “An armed, undisciplined body is dangerous to liberty. An armed, undisciplined body is dangerons to society itself.” Much more is this turbulent disposition inconsistent with the peculiar character of a British Soldier That which distinguishes him not only from a mere ruffian, but a mercenary slave, is, that he has taken up arms to protect the rights of his fellow
citizens, and to preserve the public quiet. He is an armed minister of the laws, and
we expect from him a peculiar affection and veneration for those unarmed laws and magistrates whom he has girt ou his sword to guard. Every true soldier must have too great a reverence for the noble virtue of courage to sully and degrade it by the wretched frays of sottis, luffians It is reserved for nobler objects; he will not prostitute it on such ignoble and vile occasions. True fortitude is too serious, too grave, too proud a quality to endure such degradation. Such vices are most unofficerlike because they are most
ungentlemanlike. As long as courage continues to be one of the distinctive qualities of a gentleman, so long must the profession of arms be degarded as the depositary, and guardian of all the feelings and principles which constitute the character. Agentlemanisa man of more refined feelings, and manners, than his fellow men. An officer is, or ought to be, peculiarly and eminently a gentleman. But there is nothing so low or vulgar as the fame of a Bully, and the renown of midnight brawls. They imply every quality of a highwayman but his courage; and they very often lead to his fate. In considering the punishment to be inflicted on you, I observe that you build some hopes of mercy on your dismissal from the service by a court martial for other offences. As these offences have proceeded from the same wretched vice of disposition which has placed you at this bar, I am not unwilling to consider them as part of the visitation which your mischievous turbulence has already brought upon you, and therefore as some justification of mild punishment to a court, which eagerly looks out for such justifications. It has been my fate, in this place, to be obliged to justify the lenity, rather than the severity of the penalties inflicted here. I think it is likely to continue so. I have more confidence in the certainty than in the severity of punishment. I conceive it to be the first duty of a criminal judge to exert and to strain every faculty of his mind to discover, in every case, the smallest possible quantity of punishment that may be effectualsor the ends of amendment and example ; I consider every pang of the criminal not necessary for these objects, as a crime in the judge. And in conformity with
these principles, I was employed in considering the mildest judgment which public duty would allow me to pronounce on you, when I learned, frem undoubted authority, that your thoughts towards me were not quite of the same nature. I was credibly, or rather certainly informed, that you had admitted into your minds, the desperate project of destroying your own lives at the bar where you stand, and of signalizing your suicide by the previous destruction of at least one of your judges.* If that murderous project had been executed, I should have been the first British magistrate, who ever stained with his blood the bench on which he sat to administer justice. But I can never die better than in the discharge of my duty.—When I accepted the office of a minister of justice, I knew that I ought to despise unpopularity and slander, and even death itself. Thank God I do despise them, and I solemnly assure you, that I feel more compassion for the gloomy and desperate state of minds, which could harbour such projects, than resentment for that part of them, which was directed against myself.
It is my duty to remind you that your despair is premature and groundless.-At your age, in a
new society where you may not be followed by the remembrance of your faults, you may yet atone for them, and again regain that
station in society to which the
fond hopes of your unfortunate relations had probably at parting destined you. . The road which leads back to character and honor is, and ought to be steep, but ought not to be, and is net inaccessible. On the other hand, if any of the comrades of your excesses be present, any of those who have been arrested on the brink of destruction by their penitence or by their timely fears, or by fortunate accidents, or by the mercy of others, I most earnestly conjure them never to forget the situation in which they this day see you — Lest those who stand take heed lest they fall. The declivity is slippery from the place where they stand to that where you lie prostrate. I should consider myself as
* The Recorder's private information of this atrocious and almost incredible project must, of course, have been confidential, and therefore can never be disclosed. Many Gentlemen saw, in the hands of the Sheriff, the arms which had been seized on one of the Prisoners ; (B. Macguire) they consisted of four pistols of various dimensions, three of them double-barrelied, in a case made to resemble a writing desk, which he had with him in Court on the day of this trial, under pretence of carrying his Papers. The pistols were loaded with logo, in a manner for which in this Island, it is not casy to assign an innocent motive,
Sa. Rr. — J. H. Harington, ............... 400 – Buller, ........... 2GO — J. Melvill, ... 250 — R. C. Birch, 500 — J. Wilton, ......... 400 — G. Dowdeswell, .... . 400 — J. N. Sealy, ......... .... 100 Rev. C. Boo, .... 500 Rev. P. Limrick, ..... .... 200 300
— J. P. Larkins, .. ... 100 — R. Farquhar, .... 200 -- 200 — William Fairlie, .. 400 — J. H. Fergusson, .. 200 — John Farquhar, .. ... 200 – William Logan, .. ... 500 - F. H................ .... 1000 — D. Macnabb, .. . 250 — Alex. Colvin, .. ...... 250 – D. Colvin, ...... 200 — James Colvin, . 200 — R. Downie, .... 250 — George Abbott, .. 200 — J. D. Alexander,.. 10o - J. Abbott, . 100. Lady Barlow, .. 500 Mrs. Udiny, ..... 500 Mrs. Lumsden, .. 300
Mrs. Mason, ..... Mrs. Dashwood, ... Mrs. Edmonstone, Mrs. Ricketts, ..... Mrs. Davis, ........... Mr. John Shoolbred, — James Hare, ......