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Till on some neighbouring mountain's brow
“ Companion of my tender age,
“ But now the pleasing dream is o'er,
Or where in silence all is drown'd,
“Shakspeare, no more thy sylvan son,
“ There, in a winding close retreat,
Observe how parts with parts unite
“ Then, welcome business-welcome strife,
Retirement loves to dwell.
LIBERTY OF THE PRESS.
“ The last thirty years of the reign of GEORGE THE THIRD will be remembered as one of the most remarkable epochs in the moral history of the world. Among other memorable things, it will hereafter be celebrated for the extraordinary elevation which the oratory both of the bar and the senate attained. It will require other events and circumstances equally stupendous with those of the past, to call forth again the energies of eloquence to the same degree of effect and splendour. But perhaps no single occurrence in all those mighty and manifold exertions is more interesting than the trial in the Court of King's Bench of Mr Peltier, for a libel on Buonaparte.
It was considered as the first attempt of that magnificent adventurer to overthrow the liberty of the British press; and it was instituted at a time when
many gathering and darkening circumstances indicated that a war was coming on in which the very existence of the British state would be put to the most imminent peril, by all the efforts that prodigious power and boundless profligacy could exert,-in every shape that force and fraud, either combined or separate, can employ. But although the speech of Sir James Mackintosh on that occasion is one of the most splendid compositions of the time, it has not obtained that durable popularity of which so noble an effort might have been deemed beyond all question secure."
The Nymph, in making this observation, took down the published speech from the shelf, where it lay covered with dust, and read the following extract relative to the press, which is in itself not only very beautiful, but may be considered as a curious memorial, illustrative of the popular opinions and apprehensions of the time :
“ I am convinced, by circumstances which I shall now abstain from discussing, that this is the first of a long series of conflicts, between the greatest power in the world, and the only free press now remaining in Europe. Gentlemen, this distinction of the English press is new-it is a proud and melancholy distinction. Before the great earthquake of the French revolution had swallowed up all the asylums of free discussion on the continent, we enjoyed that privilege, indeed, more fully than others, but we did not enjoy it exclusively. In great monarchies, the press has always been considered as too formidable an engine to be intrusted to unlicensed indi. viduals. But in other continental countries, either by the laws of the estate, or by long habits of liberality and toleration in magistrates, a liberty of discussion has been enjoyed, perhaps sufficient for most useful purposes. It existed, in fact, where it was not protected by law; and the wise and generous connivance of governments was daily more and more secured by the growing civilization of their subjects. In Holland, in Switzerland, in the imperial towns in Germany, the press was either legally or practically free. Holland and Switzerland are no more; and since the commencement of this prosecution, fifty imperial towns have been erased from the list of independent states, by one dash of the pen. Three or