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States Senator? Was it in the gloomy months of December and January last? Was it when the republican friends of the Administration were invoked and entreated so far to abandon the system of proscription, as to take Daniel Webster to represent the mother of New England, the mother of all these fair sisters, in the august Senate of the United States ? No, no, it was on none of these occasions that he showed this decision; but it was precisely when it was necessary for his own re-election, that he came out so warmly! Such friendship is more dangerous than open hostility! From all such friends “Good Lord deliver us.” We do not doubt that Mr. Nathan Brooks, Mr. Keyes' witness, testified in his favor with the best intentions, but we must be permitted, as public journalists, to judge for ourselves, and not take Mr. Nathan Brooks's opinions, in preference to facts, which we ourselves do know.

Mr. Keyes was reputed to be on the fence, all the past winter; we never once heard him spoken of except as a " FENCEMAN.

But this is a trifle. Mr. Keyes has long been a member, and chairman of the Committee of Accounts, for which service he has received an annual compensation, in addition to his per diem as Senator, his per centum, as post-master, and his $800 as County Treasurer. This Committee of accounts, has to make the contract for the State printing.

The STATESMAN printing office had had this contract for some two or three years previously to the last year; and although it was generally believed that the printing was done at that office at an extremely low rate, still we have been assured, that the fact was not so; and that while some items of no great importance were far too low, other and heavy items, under which, the quantity of printing was quite uncertain, were a great deal too high; and that it was by this sort of stratagem that they continued to do the State printing very low, and yet to make money.

In June last, the Statesman again put in sealed proposals, as did a score of other printers. Mr. Keyes and Mr. Ellis (who has been dropped in Norfolk, as a doubtful, i. e. a Jackson man,) were the Committee on the part of the Senate; Mr. Palfray of Salem, Mr. Robbins of Plymouth, and Mr. Perkins of Becket, composed the Committee on the part of the House. Messrs. Keyes and Ellis, from having been long of that Committee, and being of the Senate, had a preponderating influence.

People of Middlesex: We have gone through these troublesome details to prepare you for the fact which we are now to state.

In this Committee of Accounts, which had advertised for sealed proposals for the contract of printing, the Hon. Chairman, Mr. Keyes, proposed, before a seal was broken, that the contract should be given to the Boston Statesman, provided that their proposals were not more than five hundred dollars higher than

any other.

This was no more nor less than a proposal to give $500 from the Treasury of Massachusetts to that reprobated Jackson press.

How this motion of the Hon. Chairman was disposed of, we are not informed. We presume it was rejected. When, however, the printers' proposals were opened, Mr. Keyes, referring to half a dozen unimportant items, pronounced the Statesman's proposals to be the lowest; and if another member of the Committee had not resisted, and showed beyond all doubt, by a reference to other, and heavier items, that the proposals of the Statesman were $1100 higher than others, that well deserving press would again have had the State printing! Mr. Keyes' feelings in its favor were, however, so strong, that he would not remain in the Committee, and give a vote upon the question who should be printer. To vote for the Statesman, was more than he dared to do in the face of demonstration; and to vote against it was more than his feelings would permit him to do; and he therefore left the chair and the room--fairly bolted, and did not vote at all! We should suppose that such an Administration man would need certificates and vouchers; and by bringing them, Mr. Keyes shows a consciousness of his case.”,

When John Mills, as President of the Senate, appointed Mr. Williams of New Bedford, and then known to Mr. Mills to be a Jackson man, a member of the Judiciary Committee, we knew that Mr. Mills himself was a Jackson man, because he passed by administration men of equal, and some say of greater legal attainments. Mr. Mills unmasking in Faneuil Hall on the weighth of January,” confirmed our suspicions.

When Mr. Jarvis appointed Mr. Baylies, of Taunton, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives, passing by Saltonstall and Fuller, we then thought, but not for the first time, that he was in reality a Jackson man. We remain of that opinion.

We can assure the voters of Middlesex that he has talked in favour of Adams and Jackson by turns, according to the known opinions of those with whom he has conversed. We can call Jackson men to prove the fact. In one word, we consider and have long considered Mr. Jarvis as ready to take either side according as events were favourable or not, to the administration cause ; and thus, rely upon it, it will continue to be with him.

This is plain speech; and it is time to be plain, when the partizans of the General in his own state will not employ even neutral printers, but dismiss them, and drive them from their neutrality or from the state.

We hail the convention at Lexington, as the beginning of a new era in Middlesex. Let that Convention act bold/ ly and firmly, and they have nothing to fear.”

This is a direct allegation that Mr. Keyes, without any regard to his duty, or the purposes for which the public money is placed in the treasury, was in favor of giving it away for private, political and corrupt purposes. The Committee of Accounts sat under the eye of Mr. Child, and he never made a suggestion of corruption or fault until the Saturday previous to an election, in which Mr. Keyes was a candidate.

Court. It was eight days before.

Solicitor General. I shall first prove the publication by Mr. Child. [The defendants Council here admitted the publication.] And I shall in the second place prove that Mr. Keyes waited on Mr. Child and asked him to disavow it. I understand that the defence is to be that the facts are true ; we are prepared to meet it, and to fight the battle on that ground.

I will now state my view of the law of libel. A libel is a false and malicious publication in printing or writing, or by signs and pictures tending either to blacken the memory of one dead, or the reputation of one who is alive, and to expose them to hatred, contempt, or ridicule. That this is the tendency of the publication which I have read, there can be no doubt. And I presume that the only question will be whether Mr. Keyes did make the proposition to give True and Greene a preference of $500 over others as State Printers. I do not mean to make a great display of learning, but I will read you a little law on the responsibility of printers.

Printing a libel is publishing it. The printer gives a body and activity to the poison, which is mixed up in private, and would be in a quiescent state, if no persons could be found to put it into that form which is best suited to give it publicity. Printers and booksellers have therefore been justly deemed the instruments of crime. Whatever be the motive of the printer and publisher if an injury be done to the public or an individual, he must and ought to be answerable for it. The law presumes guilt from every act of public mischief, and imputes a malicious intent to an act which is injurious to another. But facts or circumstances may enhance or mitigate that implied guilt and vary the degrees of it. Like every other presumption of law it may be rebutted by contrary proof, and shown to be innocent and accidental.” Holt, L. L. 293.

If a libel be false the law implies a malicious intent, but this presumption may be rebutted by showing that there was no malice. There is no such thing as a libel unless it be maliciously fabricated, but legal malice means no more than willfulness; a publisher shall not be permitted to say that he made a mistake. He who “scatters firebrands,” &c. shall not be permitted to say “ am I not in sport.”

Subsequent publications may be given in evidence of malice.

The Solicitor General then read an extract from the Journal of the Senate purporting to be an order appointing Mr. Keyes Chairman of the Committee of Accounts; also an order giving him leave of absence on the eighth of June 1827 for the remainder of the session after the day following; also an order for the Committee on accounts to contract with a printer to do the printing for the Commonwealth.

Mr. Gardiner. May it please your Honor and you Gentlemen of the Jury.

This Defendant, whose character has been hitherto unimpeached, stands here for the first time in his life, charged with a criminal offence; and it is for you Gentlemen, to estimate the amount of his criminality. It is of little importance that he is personally unknown to all of you. So far as his private character is concerned, it is enough that the learned gentleman who conducts the prosecution has felt himself

bound to assure you of the respect which is entertained for his virtues and his talents. In his public character he is doubtless known to you by reputation as the editor of a respectable journal, which has maintained with ability and independence the principles and interests of the political party to which he has been attached. Whether his zealous support of the cause of the present administration may have been to you a subject of gratification or of regret, he must at least be entitled in your judgement to the reputation of an honest conductor of the public press; bold it may be in his exposition of public abuses; free to discuss the qualifications of candidates for public office; and prompt to communicate to the people

what they were concerned to know regarding the official conduct of men in trust. But he has never abused the power of the press by making it the vehicle of vulgar slander; he has not invaded the sanctuary of domestic life to expose its follies and foibles to the gaze of the censorious and uncharitable; neither has he laboured to heap unfounded calumnies upon the heads of his political opponents, or turned the current of just animadversion into a torrent of scurrility and personal abuse. On the contrary he has throughout his editorial career strictly confined himself to legitimate objects of newspaper discussion, the official conduct of public men, the character of public measures ; and in the discussion of such topics if he has sometimes found occasion for severity he has never forgotten to clothe it in the language of decorum. Yet this man is now arraigned at the bar of this County as a state criminal, and is described in the Indictment as a malicious and evil disposed person, who with wicked intent to injure and defame an Honorable Senator of this Commonwealth, has published of him, a certain false, scandalous and malicious libel.

The defendant has laboured under the effects of this presentment of the Grand Jury of the county, for a term of nine months. You will readily imagine how deeply injurious to his feelings and his interests, has been the pendency of such a charge. He is now formally required to answer to the Commonwealth, as a disturber of its public peace, by the malicious uttering of false and wicked calumnies which he denies; and you are asked upon your oaths to record this sentence of condemnation against him.

The suit is to be sure in the name of the Commonwealth, but you will perceive that it is in truth the prosecution of the individual against whom the supposed libel is directed. It is at his suggestion that the power of the Commonwealth is arrayed against the defendant. Upon his complaint and his evidence before the Grand Jury this presentment is founded. It is he who urges this issue to trial, which it is in his power at any moment to arrest. And it is he who sits by the prosecuting officer to instruct and direct him in the conduct of his cause.

Considering it therefore as an issue between the Hon. Senator of Middlesex, and the humble individual who is arraigned to answer him, I trust I shall not be considered as deviating from the beaten path of duty in the remarks which I may find occasion to make upon the prosecutor. The defendant, however, and his Counsel disclaim

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