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being thus extended upon the pavement, and with a settle countenance, and desired be pronounced again another, which the those whom he knew that they would pray Lieutenant of the Provost writ down, to God for him..-. As soon as he was.conie whom Laubardemont forbiel to let it be out of thie palace, they read to him his senseen by any body.-This unfortunate cre:l- tence, and put him in a kind of little ture maintained always, in the midst of chariot, to bring him before the Church of the anguish and blows which mangled him, St. Peter, in the Market, where Laubarde. that he was neither a magician, nor sacri- nont caused him to come down from the legious person ; acknowledging, that as a chariot, to the end that he miult put himman he had abused the pleasures of the self upon his knees, whilst his sentence flesh, for which he was confessed, and had was read to him once again; but having done pendance; but he prayed bis Judges, quite lost the use of his lcgs, he tell flat on who urged him to explain himself further, the ground upon his belly, where he tarried that they would not oblige liim to name without murmuring, or any word of iis. any body, nor to specify the sin for which plezsurc, till they came to lift him up; he believed he had obtained forgiveness, after which he desired the assistance of by his repentance and his prayers, which the prayers of these that were al out him. be astirnied to be such as a true Christian Father Grillan came to hiin at this very ought to make.—He renounced again three time, and embraced bin weeping; “ Sir,, or four times the devil and all bis pomps, said he to bím, “ Remember that our Lord and protested that he never saw Elizabeth Jesus Christ ascended to Ciod his Father Blanchard, but when she was confronted by torrenti, and the Cross; you are an to him, very fár froin having known her alle man, do not ria yourself, I bring after that manner which she had declared. you your mether's ble:sing; she and I do He swooned once again after he had been pray to God dat he would be mercifal to taken from the torture, and he came not you, and that he would reccive vou into out of that fainting fit, but liy the help of his paradise."'--. Grandier expressed great a little wine, which the Lieutenant of the satisfaction at the hearing of these words, Provost caused speedily to be put into his and his countenance seen.cd very clearful; mouth; afterwards he was carried into. he thanked the Cordelier with much mild. the Council Chamber, and put upon straw ness and serenity, and conjured him to be near the fire, where he demanded an An- as a son to his mother; to pray to God for gustin Friar for his Cofessor, whom he him, and to recomiend him to the prayers saw then before his eyes, who was aiso of all his Friars, assuring him, that he denied bim, as well as Father Grillan; and went with comfort 10 die innocent; and he was committed, against bis will, into that he hoped that Oct would be merciful the hands of Father Tranquille, and Father to him, and receive I in into his paradise. Claude, Capuchins. When they were with Thet odifving conversi tion was interrupted drawn, they severely forbid those who by the blows that the Archers gave to guarded him not to let him speak with any Father Grillar., whom they thrust with body, and so be was not seen during the riolence into the Church of St. Peter, by space of almost four hours, but thrice by the order of their Superiors and Father the Clerk of the Commission, by his Con- Confessors, who would nert suffer the stanfessors, and by Laubardemont, who was ders-by to be witnesses of the condition in with him more than two hours, to force which the conscience of the patient was. bim to sign a writing which he offered him, He was conducted then b:fore the Church and which he constantly refused to sign. of the Ursulines, and from, thence to the

About four or five in the evening he was Place of St. Cross; upon the way from taken from the Chamber by his torturers, which he espied Le Frene Ilíoussant, and who carried bim upon a hand-barrow; in bis wife, to whom he said, “ That he died going, he told the Lieutenant Criminal of their servant, and that he po ayed them to Orleans, that he had said all, and that pardon him.”--- When he was arrived, he there remained nothing more upon his con- turned himself torrards the Friars vlo science.“ Will you not,” says this Judge accompanied him, and requested them to to him then, " that I pray to God for you?" give hin the kiss of peace. 'The Licute" You will oblige me by doing it,” replied nant of the Provost would ask him parthe patient to him, “and I beseech you to don. “ You have not offended,” said he, do it."--He carried a torch in his hand, “ you have done but what which he kissed, as he went from the pa obliged you to do.”-.-Rene Berni or, Curate lace; he looked upon all the neople modestly I of the town of Troismontiera, 1 wayed him

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also to parilon him, and asked him if be more to say, and that all that he had said
would not forgive all his enemies, even all was true." Whereupon one of the Monks
those who had deposed against him; and if | told the Clerk, that lic had made bim speak
he would, that he should pray to God for too nruch.
hiin, and to say next day a mass for his The Lieutenant of the Prorost had

prosoul ? He answered him, “ He forgave mised two things in their presence; the all his enemics whatsoever, even as he de- first, that he should have some time to sired God to pardon him; that by all speak to the people; the second, that he means he would oblige him, by praying to should be strangled before the kindling of God for him, and by remembering him the fire.---But to hinder the performance often at the alt:ur.”---Then the executioner of cither of these promises, these are the put upon him a boop of iron, which was courses which the exorcists took; when fistened to a post, making him to turn his they perceived that he was disposed to back towards the Church of St. Cross. speak to the people, they cast so great a The place was filled with prople, who quantity of holy water in his face, that he fiorkovi in skol: from all parts to this dis was thereby utterly confounded; and scemal spect:eke, and came thithua, not only ing that hic opened his mouth a second time, from all the provinces of tlic kiegdon, but there was one who went to kiss him, tó also from foreign countries.

stop bis words, be understood the design, The place appointed for the execution and said to him, “ There is a kiss of was at last so crowded, that those who were Judas." --- Upon which their spite rose to to assist there could not put themselves in so high a point, that they hit him many order, whatsoever endeavours the Archers times in the face with an iron crucifix, used to make the people retire with blows which they offered to him as if they had of their halbert-stavcs, they could not effect been willing to make him kiss it, which it, and less yet to drive way a flock of obliged him to content himself in desiring pigeons, which came Aying round the pile only a Salve Regina, and one Are Ilaria, of wood, wiihout being frightened by the sc. and to commend himself to God, and to the halberts, with which they were commanded joined hands and eyes litted to heaven. The to striko in the air, to dcive them away, or exorcists returned to their office, and asked him by the noise that the spectators nade in

once again, if he would not confess" My Fa.

thers, an-ered he, “ I have said all, I have secing them return many times.----Tlre said all; I hope in (ind, and in his merey." friends of the possession cried out, that it These goou Fathers, to hinder his being stranwas a troop of devils who came to attempt tenant of the Provost had made wim, had theme

gled, according to the second promise the Lieuthe rescuing of the Magician, and were selves knotted the rope when it had been pat much troubled to abandon him. Others into the h:unds of the executioner, who, coming said, that these in ocent doves came for to pat fire to the wood pile, the Patient cried

out two or three times," Is this what I was want of men to give testimony of the in- promised?" And saying these words he himself nocence of the su ferer..--All that one can lifted up the rope, and fitted it.-Bit Father affirm here is, that all the facts, or at least having lighted it with a foren, he put it in hit

Jaastance took presently a wisp of stra!, and the principal of taem, are generally found face, saying, “ Wilt thou not confess steet in all the relations that have been kept of hast but a moment to live." ." I know notitie

man, and renounce the devil! 'Tis true, this them, that most of the people of Loudun mlevil (replied (irandier), I renounce him and all (who are this day alive), have been in his pomps: and I pray God to have more on formed of it is their parents, who had Lient of the Provost, this Mouk taking upon hiin been present, and that there remain some publicly the ofice of hangman, put fire to the pile still living in that and foreign countries, Lust before the eyes of the sufferer; who, seeing particularly li pre in England, who can at-All! where is clarity, Father Lactance ? This testit, by having been witnesses thereof.--- is not is hat was promised me. There is a Gind in The Fathers exorcised the air, and the son who will judge thee and me; I summon tvood, and a sked the patient afterwards if | Tien addressing hiaself to God, he uttered these he would not confess? To whom he re Itopils, Dux nous ad te Vigilo, misereri mei.-plied, “That he had nothing more to say, holy water in his face which they had in their

Then the Capuchins began again to throw all thai and that he hoped to be this day with bis holy water pnts, to prevent these last words God.” T!se Clerk then read to bim bis being heard by the people, and their being edi.

fied hy them. At last they said aloud to the sentence for the fourth time, and asked executioner, that he should strangle him ; which him if he persisted in what he has said it was impossible for him to do, because the rope upon the Rack?. He answered, “ That was knotted, and that he was stopped by the ins

crrasing of the fame, into which the sufferor he persist ed therein, that he had nothing I fell, and was burnt alive.

Printed and Published by J: MORTOX, No. 91, Strand.

COBBETT’S WEEKLY POLITICAL REGISTER.

Vol. XXVI. No. 7.] LONDON, SATURDAY, AUG. 13, 1814. [Price 1s.

At pre

193]

[194 SUMMARY OF POLITICS. been the foe of freedom, the subverter oi

e uitable laws; and the vehicle through LIBERTY OF THE Press. In so far as which the public mind has been contamirespects this country, not much can be nated by sophistry, by jesuitical argument, said, at any time, in favour of our boasted and by inblushing falsehood. If there are liberty of the press. But inasmuch as it a few, amongst the vast multitude of public is likely to extend its beneficial influence writers that supply materials for our press, over other nations, it becomes a subject of who seem to wield the pen with some de. interest and importance. It was stated by gree of boldness, this, in fact, will b: the Abbe Seyes, during the revolutionary found, on a little attention, to be merely in period of France, that the press has appearance. It is only because they stand changed the fate of Europe, and will alone in their opposition to corruption, that change the face of the universe.”—I doubt they attract any notice; and were they not much, however, whether that change has to be extremely guarded in what they say, been of real benefit to society. I am they even would not long enjoy the liberty afraid that we have still to look for the of publishing what they write. Let all fruit which, at first, we were led to expect, the other newspapers assume a tone equally when the tree was planted. In place of independent, and then some ground would the liberty of the press proving a blessing be laid for anticipating the period, when which, under proper encouragement, it we might think of beginning to exerwould have done, I find that it has hitherto cise the liberty of the press. only been used as an instrument in the sent we enjoy about as much of it as the hands of corrupt and unprincipled knaves, people of Spain and Portugal, where the to en: lave the human mind, and to eradi- | Inquisition has so benumbed the human cute from the earth every vestige of liberty; soul, that scarcely one work issues from as a stepping stone, by which the lettered the Press of a scientific nature, in the sycophant mounted to public favour ; as a course of a century. All is absorbed in tool in the hands of the crafty courtier, monkish rites, ceremonies, and obserwho, to secure the ear of his master, and, vances : the fear of offending the church, at the same time, obtain popular applause, or giving umbrage to some favourite saint, scrupled not to abuse the one, while he in- keeps the mind in a state of constant imsulted and trampled upon the other.-becility. In like manner, with us, the dread Though we are every where told that free of libelling the Guveroment; of speaking dom of discussion is a natural right, and disrespectfully of the Prince ; of profaning though we see that the “ Liberty of the the doctrines of religion ; and, above all

, Press” has become a standing toast in this of giving offence to the clergy ; are cirenlightened country, yet I cannot shut my cumstances calculated to produce a similar eyes to the many instances which I find, in effect; to deter even the most fool-bardy cur own history, of innumerable indivi- against taking up his pen ; and, in so far duals, who, in attempting to exercise this as respects the science of Government, legitimate, this natural right, have fallen the most interesting of all sciences to man, victims to what, they had been taught, to fix bim down in a state of comparative from infancy, was the mere exercise of the infanticide, in which a thousand circumfaculty of thought-of that faculty " the stances hourly combine to retain him for most noble which man bad received from life. In the midst, however, of this his creator.”—Instead of the press being gloomy and discouraging prospect, it is the sentinel and safeguard of public liberty, with some degree of pleasure that the atinstead of its being the protector of the tention is turned towards the discussion Constitution ; instead of its being the going on in the French Legislature, as to channel of conveying truth; it has ever the Liberty of the Prrss. I am hopeful,

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though not very sanguine, that the fulfill- to the peoples rights, they have no occasion ment of the prophecy of Abbe Seyes may be to diead the censure of the press. India the result of that discussion--that the Press viduals may arise, who, from frenzy, or dismay not only yet change the fate of Europe, appointed motives, may overstep the bounds but the face of the Univers . It was one of of propricty; but this is a case which the articles of the Constitutional Charter rarely occurs, and when it does happen, it proposed for the acceptance of Louis the is only a very few indeed, if any,

who can Eighteenth, that “ the Liberty of the be influenced by such productions. The Press should be respected." This stipula- great body of the people always applaud a tion has been considered of such vast im- virtuvus prince. They never even openly portance by all parties, that it has occupied condemn, unless the sovereign has given the first attention, which the Crown and up all shame, and abandoned himself to the the Chamber of Deputies could bestow on practice of every vice. In the course of the formation of the laws. The King, in the discussion, which has taken place in virtue of the right which he enjoys by the France on the Liberty of the Press, one of Constitution, submitted, in the first in the Deputies recommended, that the crime stance, a projet of the intended law to the of libel should be clearly defined, and the Chamber. In that projet it was proposed punishment to be inflicted for every offence to have a censorship on the Press; that is a distinctly specified. It was a fundamental discretionary power conferred on two per- article in the French Constitution of sons, appointed by the Crown, to authorise 1795; the best Constitution, in my opinion, or restrain the printing of anywork which the world ever saw; it was a leading they might approve or disapprove of. The article there, that a no man' can be subject having been referred to a Commit-" hindered from speaking, writing, printing tee, it appears from their report, that a "and publishing his thoughts. Writings majority disapproved of the appointment of " cannot be subject to any censure before censors; while it seemed to be the general" their publication. No man can be opinion, that some regulations should be responsible for what he has written established as to proprietors of newspapers, or published, but in cases provided in order to render them accountable for by the law.”' The reasonableness their writings. Whatever way this busi- and justice of this regulation is obvions ness may terminate, it seems to me, at pre- at first sight. No Government ought to sent, that the French people are fully im- have the power of prosecuting its subjects pressed with the importance of a free for offences of its own creation. No judge press; and, as they now enjoy the right of should be placed in a situation which may

discussion, both in the Legislative Body, give him an opportunity of gratifying bis and in their journals, to a greater extent personal resentment against any man who than they enjoyed at any former period, I may have offended him, and who may have do not think they will easily consent to the the misfortune to be placed at his bar to lear introduction of a law, which would infal- sentence passed upon him. Such is the prolibly reduce them to the degraded state pensity in some minds to bave their re. they were in before the Revolution. It is venge gratified, that there are few judges not proper they should; for the people of who would liesitate to seek that gratifica France are now a very different people tion, if they found their enemy so situated. from what they were twenty years ago. Where, therefore, there is a chance of disThey have tasted of the sweets of liberty; cretionary power being abused, it ought they have been accustomed to discussion ; never to be conferred in any case.

This and they know well that they are able, observation applies with equal force to the independent of hereditary power, to com- appointment of a previous censorship of the mand the respect of Europe. Neither is press. But I would rather give the preit the interest of Louis, that his people ference to a Licenser of the press, than I should be restrained in the use of the press. would leave the definition and the punish-It was that restraint which kept his pre- ment of libel to the dictum of any julge. decessors and their subjects both in the In the one case, every writer is certain of dark, and but for which France might impunity for what he may write and submit have escaped the greater part of those mis- to the censors; he can besides write withfortunes which have afflicted her. If out any restraint, and niuch that would sovereigns exercise the power conferred on otherwise be repressed, from the dread of them by the people, with a proper regard | pupishment, would be sufered to pass by a

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licenser. In the other, he is constantly I were at war with him; and so on-the under the influence of fear, which not only writer would then know what he was destroys the beauty and force of his writing, about ; and he would, as far as the law but frequently renders him incapable of permitted him to go, be free to write. judging aright as to the import of a libel. But while there is no boundary; while all Hence it is, I believe, in most cases, that is left to the opinions and the taste of many public writers, who had no idea of others, can any man be said to be free to involving themselves cither with the Go-write? Besides, there is the power of vernment or with individuals, have unex- prosecution lodged absolutely in the breast pectedly found themselves made the sub- of one man, appointed by the Crown, and jects of an er-officio information, and sub- removeable from his office the moment the jected to the severest penalties ; not by Crown pleases. This man, the Attorney, any existing law, which might serve as a General, can prosecute any writer for any landmark, but by the whim and caprice thing. He has nothing to controul him of a Judge, who, in this respect, is placed but his own discretion. It matters not above the law, and actually possesses le- what the writing be; he can, if he pleases, gislative authority, in its utmost extent, and without consulting any one, prosecute independent altogether of King or Parlia- any writer, or any printer, or any pubment. I have before observed, what can- lisher, for any thing. He is not even not be too often repeated, that Blackstone, limited as to time.

time. He may, if he please, though a very able hand at drawing dis- go twenty or eighty years back, and protinctions, has failed in this particular : sccute a man for what he then wrote or He says that our press is free; " that is to published; so that he who has once written say, it is subject to no previous licenser; or published, is, for his whole life-time, every man may write and publish what he liable to prosecution for having done so. pleases; but then he must be responsible But the grievance does not stop here: for so doing.”—I am quite free to trespass When the prosecution has been comupon my neighbour's land, and if he be menced; when a writer or publisher has weaker than I, I may, if I please, knock been charged with a criminal act; when him down into the bargain, But then I it has become notorious that he stands am responsible for these acts, and am liable accused in the courts as a criminal ; when to be punished for them in my purse, and this has been done, the Attorney-General in my person. Properly speaking, there may, if he please, suspend any further fore, I am not free to do these things. I proceeding for one, two, three, or any may not do them if I please, -I am free, number of years. On the other hand, he quite free, to eat and drink, and sleep; I has the power of withdrawing the charge; am quite free to walk along the highway; of putting an end to it when he pleases.I am quite free to whistle ; I am quite free He may charge and discharge at his sole to buy or sell, the money or property being will and pleasure. He may bring to trial, my own, and provided I pay the tax im- and the accused may be convicted; and posed on the sale or purchase by the Go- even after that, he may drop the matter if Fernment. I am free to do these things, he is inclined. He may call the poor because there is no one who can punish wretch up for judgment at once, if he me for doing them. But the same cannot pleases, at the very

. next term; he may let be said of writing or publishing, because him remain undecided for any number of those are acts for which a man may be years ; and may at last call him up; or punished, and because there are no laws he may never call him up at all. The to point out what I may, and what I may laws passed during this reign renders it nor, write or publish, without exposing impossible for the author of any work to myself to punishment. If there were escape exposure. Every printer or pubboundaries; if there were land-marks to lisher is now compelled to keep one copy guide the writer ; if the law told him that of every thing he publishes, with his name be must keep himself within the bounds of written on it, and is bound, if called on by truth; that he must not pass that boundary the Attorney-General, to declare who the without incurring punishment. If he were author is, or

, at least, by whose authority told that he must not censure any man in he has printed or published it. The pro

that he must find fault of no act prietors of newspapers are compelled to of the Government; that he must never deposit with the Stamp Commissioners, an cepsure any forcign Potentate, unless wel afidavit of their names and places of

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power;

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