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take the judges' opinion on that matter, which I send you herewith ; and I am to acquaint you, 'that, having laid the same before the King, it is his Majesty's pleasure, that there shall be no further respite for those convicts.
From the Sheriffs to the Lord Chancellor. MY LORD, We did not receive from Lord Weymouth, any account of the judges' opinion, given on Friday last, Nov. 24th, till last Friday, the 1st of Dec. We thought it not right to trouble your lordship with a reply, whilst we were in daily expectations of that opinion. And we waited with the greatest impatience, lest your lordship, not imagining that such a delay could have happened, should suppose us either backward to acknowledge our satisfaction, or negligent to avail ourselves of your lordship's very kind and candid offer of farther consideration, if we remain dissatisfied. We cannot but lament, my lord, that by the inclosed letter from Lord Weymouth, our doubts are overruled, without being satisfied. We can account for it no otherwise, than by supposing, if the judges saw our objections and our questions, that they deemed them too trivial to deserve an answer. Whilst we submit entirely to the judges' opinion, as conveyed to us by Lord Weymouth, we are unhappy to be sent to execution without the least information where this discretion is lodged, or by whom it is exercised. We have received, as in our last letter we apprehend, a naked opinion from the judges, “ that the place of execution is in law no part of the judgment, and that the Recorder's warrant is a lawful authority to the Sheriffs as to the place of execution."
If we have had our doubts, a:d have been mistaken in our opinion, we hope your lordship will excuse us when you consider, that even the Recorder, so conversant in these matters, and whose warrant is, for the future, to be our authority, was himself uncertain : for when he directed us in court to the usual place of execution, he must either have supposed it a part of the sentence, or that he was exercising a discretion, in that particular, vested in himself. His subsequent warrant contradicted both these suppositions.
Supposing the place to be no part of the sentence, how cou . we avoid being startled when we saw,
First. A discretion exercised by the Recorder directing us to the usual place of execution,
Secondly, A discretion exercised by the crown, setting aside the Recorder's discretion.
Thirdly, This discretion of the crown not signified to us by writ, or sign manual, but by warrant from the Recorder, whose discretion it over-ruled. And
Lastly, A discretion left to ourselves to execute, not in, but as near to a church as we should judge convenient.
We need not repeat to your lordship many other reasons as well as those we have before given, to justify our cons duct. The judges have determined, and we do not presume to hesitate on their decision. What is now said is not meant to cause any farther trouble, but only as an apology for that which we have already occasioned to your lordship.
We are, &c.
From the Sheriffs to Lord Weymouth.
London, Dec. 2. The opinion of the judges, as conveyed to us by your lordship, has over-ruled our doubts, and we must request your lordship to present his Majesty our most humble thanks for his Majesty's royal condescension, in directing our case to be laid before the judges.
We are, &c.
P.S. We shall be obliged to your lordship, if you will direct Mr. Serjeant Glynn's opinion to be returned to us.
Letter from Lord Weymouth.
St. James's, Dec. 4.
of the legality of the Recorder's directions, and was by me, laid before his Majesty, the original must remain in my office, but I send you the inclosed copy.
I am, &c.
John Doyle and John Valline were executed at Bethnel., Green, on Wednesday, December 6, 1769.
The next sentence which Mr. Recorder of London passed, was on Monday, the 11th of December, when he pronounced the following words only :. “You the several prisoners at the bar shall be severally hanged by the neck till you are dead, and may God Almighty be merciful to your souls."
1769, Supplement. 1770, Jan.
XLII. Want of CHARACTER, a common Defect.
THERE are an infinity of persons in the world, who have absolutely no character; the temperament of whose minds is so equal, so insipid, that no one passion predominates, no talent appears conspicuous above the rest; and I know not whether this evenness of disposition be not a state much to be envied, since the maxim is, qui bene latuit, bene virit ; most men, however, will be aiming at an excellency in some way, though they so frequently miscarry in their views and designs; and it is doubtless a very laudable ambition for a man to endeavour to distinguish himself above the herd, especially when his object, or point in view, is honourable and praiseworthy, as tending to the benefit and advantage of his fellow creatures; and as his view is splendid, so he will be sure to display his best parts and abilities in the pursuit of it. Hence arises character, and as men's minds are various, and their pursuits different, characters will of course be both numerous and distinct. I will here recite a few instauces of men, both ancient and modern, in
whose characters all the world have in a manner agreed, and have accordingly conferred upon them a peculiar epithet expressive of the turn, the genius, and superior excellency of them in their several departments.
Amongst the Orientals.
Moses was eminent for his meekness.
The poet, xar' itoxăn, meant Homer.
rity of his stile.
Valerius was Publicola.
And lastly, amongst ourselves, all have consented to give to Bede the title of Venerable, whilst amongst the Schoolmen, one was Doctor Subtilis, another Doctor Profun. dus, &c.
Mr. Hooker is usually termed the judicious.
So in regard to Kings.
Richard, Cæur de Lion. William, of glorious memory, &c. And the Pope upon occasion hath much in the same man, ner characterised several of the Europeans, by the titles of Christianissimus, Fidei Defensor, Catholicus, Fidelissimus, &c.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
XLIII. On the general application of the Word GREAT.
MR. URBAN, IN speaking or writing of those persons, who have been very eminent and conspicuous in their way, of whatever kind their excellence has been, we are very apt to call them, and to dignify them with the title of great. Thus we say, the great Lord Bacon, the great Doctor Harvey, the great Newton, meaning Sir Isaac Newton, the great Locke, &c. But besides this, there are certain subjects in history, on whom, by general consent, the posterities have conferred the addition of great, magnus, or méyas, xar' içexiy, distinguishing them thereby from others, who have happened to bear the same names.
For the amusement of your readers, Mr. Urban, I have bere sent you a short list of those extraordinary personages, who, so far as I can recollect them, have been honoured with this noble agnomen, leaving it to others to supply deficiencies from their own reading and memory; and only observing, that though here speaking in general, I have termed it a noble agnomen, yet greatness separate from goodness, does not always constitute a noble, a finished, and exalted character, but perhaps in some instances may be the reverse; goodness being, without doubt, much more amiable and valuable, and consequently more noble, than mere greatness, how transcendant soever.
Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Monarchy.