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was solely devoted to his support, and pledged for the relief of his necessities alone. Accordingly, when it was moved, "that a subscription, to the amount of five hundred pounds, be opened for Mr. Bingley, for having refused to answer interrogatories, and submit to the illegal mode of attachment," the patriotic alderman, his brother, his attorney, and a great body of his friends, found means to negative the proposition, although it had been repeatedly urged, that it was extremely politic at that moment, in order to encourage the printers to resist the menaces of the house of commons, and that the abandonment of this spirited individual to his fate, would inevitably produce doubt, distraction, and despondency.

Bingley, however, was amply rewarded for his zeal and perseverance; and, while he himself thus acquired a certain degree of consequence, he became, at the same time, the humble, but meritorious instrument of great and lasting advantages to the community at large. Before such a cause, supported with such intrepidity and resolution, even lord Mansfield himself was at length obliged to succumb. Tired with a struggle, which, while it laid him open to the most invidious accusations, on the part of his enemies, seemed to tarnish the lustre of his re

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putation, in the eyes of his friends, and alarmed also, perhaps, at the threats of parliamentary investigation, he at length reluctantly consented to yield. The attorney-general was, therefore, instructed to move the court of King's Bench, for the discharge of the prisoner; and the latter was accordingly restored to his liberty, his family, and society, neither ruined nor dismayed by a personal contest with the greatest chief justice which England had beheld since the days of lord Coke *. Thus, to the pertinacity of a petty artisan, aided, counselled, and supported by the minister of New Brentford, the nation is indebted for the abolition of a practice, unsanctioned by our admirable municipal code; and which, although it might have oc

On this occasion, an appearance of much legal coquetry was displayed, between the Court of King's Bench, and one of the crown lawyers, about who should undergo the ridicule of permitting the prisoner to escape.

The attorney-general, who had moved to bring up Bingley, observed, that he had nothing to pray against the defendant;" but lord Mansfield, after a solemn pause, replied, "that if he moved nothing, nothing could be done, and every thing would remain as it was, in consequence of which, the defendant would still be in custody, as the court never acted but upon motion from without."

Mr. Attorney, at length took the whole business upon himself, and moved in the regular manner for his discharge, which was immediately assented to by the lord chief justice.

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casionally entrapped a criminal, would have rendered the laws nugatory, and innocence itself insecure.

The dispute concerning this individual was productive of a variety of remarkable, although far inferior events, particularly the dissolution of the club, known by the denomination of the "Supporters of the Bill of Rights." This was immediately followed by the institution of the "Constitutional Society," consisting chiefly of the most respectable of the old members, with an exclusion, however, of the Wilkites; and doubtless gave birth to the "Whig Club," the "Friends of the People," and the "London Corresponding Society," in after times. Other results, which followed this singular contest, will be noticed hereafter; more especially the paper-contest, between the two chiefs, which occasioned a fatal schism among the friends of the common cause; and, while it displayed the literary powers of the two principal combatants, afforded ample exultation to the enemies of both; and, like wars of another kind, finally proved of but little service to either of the belligerents,

CHAPTER VI.

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FROM 1770 TO 1771.

Dispute and Correspondence with Mr. Wilkes.

IT was almost impossible, from the nature of human affairs, that two such men as Mr. Wilkes and Mr. Horne could agree during any long period; for their characters, dispositions, and ultimate aims, were entirely dissimilar. The one, perpetually instigated by his necessities, endeavoured to convert the current of public generosity to his own private advantage; while the other, at once economical and disinterested, wished to distribute it into different channels, for the benefit and advantage of the community at large. In addition to this, they were both gifted with superior talents; and both equally avaricious of fame, although they approached her temple by different paths. Each, also, perhaps, considered himself best calculated for command, and most worthy of public esteem. The one could not bear a superior, the other

could not brook an equal: it was the rivalship of Pompey and Cæsar, on a smaller scale-not, indeed, for the empire of the world, but the rule of a numerous, popular, and formidable party. This led, as in the former instance, to a civil war, and ended in a contest, during which, happily, ink, rather than blood, was most profusely shed on both sides.

The minister of New Brentford was, indeed, desirous of rendering the alderman of London independent, not out of any personal regard to him, but merely with a view of proving to the world, that, in a free country, it is not in the power of a premier to ruin and overwhelm an individual, whose cause was of a public nature. He was anxious, at the same time, however, that the man menaced with ministerial vengeance should conduct himself with propriety. Accordingly, instead of flattering his follies, he had loudly protested against his luxurious mode of life, and expressed both his own and the public dissatisfaction at the laced liveries and French domestics of a person supported by the bounty of others. When a verdict of four thousand pounds had been obtained against lord Halifax, for his misconduct relative to general warrants, he represented the propriety of appropriating that sum towards the payment of his

VOL. 1.

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