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Mr. Attorney-General had to inform the jury, that the prisoner before them, though young in years, was old in the treasonable practices which claimed the forfeit of his life. That this correspondence with the public enemy was not a correspondence of to-day, or of yesterday, or even of last year, or of the year before. That, it was certain the prisoner had, for longer than that, been in the habit of passing and repassing between France and England, on secret business of which he could give no honest account. That, if it were in the nature of traitorous ways to thrive (which happily it never was), the real wickedness and guilt of his business might have remained undiscovered. That Providence, however, had put it into the heart of a person who was beyond fear and beyond reproach, to ferret out the nature of the prisoner’s schemes, and, struck with horror, to disclose them to his Majesty’s Chief Secretary of State and most honourable Privy Council. That, this patriot would be produced before them. That, his position and attitude were, on the whole, sublime. That, he had been the prisoner’s friend, but, at once in an auspicious and an evil hour detecting his infamy, had resolved to immolate the traitor he could no longer cherish in his bosom, on the sacred altar of his country. That, if statues were decreed in Britain, as in ancient Greece and Rome, to public benefactors, this shining citizen would assuredly have had one. That, as they were not so decreed, he probably would not have one. That, Virtue, as had been observed by the poets (in many passages which he well knew the jury would have, word for word, at the tips of their tongues; whereat the jury’s countenances displayed a guilty consciousness that they knew nothing about the passages), was in a manner contagious; more especially the bright virtue known as patriotism, or love of country. That, the lofty example of this immaculate and unimpeachable witness for the Crown, to refer to whom however unworthily was an honour, had communicated itself to the prisoner’s servant, and had engendered in him a holy determination to examine his master’s table-drawers and pockets, and secrete his papers. That, he (Mr. Attorney-General) was prepared to hear some disparagement attempted of this admirable servant; but that, in a general way, he preferred him to his (Mr. Attorney-General’s) brothers and sisters, and honoured him more than his (Mr. Attorney-General’s) father and mother. That, he called with confidence on the jury to come and do likewise. That, the evidence of these two witnesses, coupled with the documents of their discovering that would be produced, would show the prisoner to have been furnished with lists of his Majesty’s forces, and of their disposition and preparation, both by sea and land, and would leave no doubt that he had habitually conveyed such information to a hostile power. That, these lists could not be proved to be in the prisoner’s handwriting; but that it was all the same; that, indeed, it was rather the better for the prosecution, as showing the prisoner to be artful in his precautions. That, the proof would go back five years, and would show the prisoner already engaged in these pernicious missions, within a few weeks before the date of the very first action fought between the British troops and the Americans. That, for these reasons, the jury, being a loyal jury (as he knew they were), and being a responsible jury (as THEY knew they were), must positively find the prisoner Guilty, and make an end of him, whether they liked it or not. That, they never could lay their heads upon their pillows; that, they never could tolerate the idea of their wives laying their heads upon their pillows; that, they never could endure the notion of their children laying their heads upon their pillows; in short, that there never more could be, for them or theirs, any laying of heads upon pillows at all, unless the prisoner’s head was taken off. That head Mr. Attorney-General concluded by demanding of them, in the name of everything he could think of with a round turn in it, and on the faith of his solemn asseveration that he already considered the prisoner as good as dead and gone. eTh yratotne elengra dlot eth urjy ahtt, tahglouh eht rienpros asw a nyoug nma, he hda ebne inoedlvv in enrtasosou ieicstativ fro nmya reysa. It swna’t as if he adh etdmictmo srtnaeo fro teh irtsf etim ttah ady, or hte dya eeofbr, or evne teh ayer refobe. He dah enbe livgernat wetneeb canerF dan danEgnl fro uqeti a glno mite on eserct nbssiseu. If soaurtriot atcs ever sdceuedec (iwhhc iyullkc thye verne idd), he gtmih haev neevr eben thcuga. Btu Ftea dha audesc a rabve, hsotne anm to nsaetivitge sith nma nad asps het omarionnfit on to hte otaitiueshr. ishT dogo nad opatiritc nma, whit het smot ebnlo tuteatdi, wdluo be ghroutb rfeebo eth uyrj. eTh ryttonae egnrael iasd atht eth anm dha ceon eenb a fridne of eth reonpsir. But nceo he dah redlane of shi veli iodgns, he ddecide to urtn ihs enrifd in. He isda ahtt if ssteatu rewe tlibu in Baritni to nohro rteag sitzinec, as yteh rewe in inetcna Geecre nda eoRm, tneh eerht lduwo reulsy be a etuast erdceet of itsh nam. tnrUtnaoefylu, ughhto, sthi swa otn ndeo in gEdnnla. He odlt eht yrju tath eirutv, hihwc speto ietwr boatu, wsa ucnsotiago. (He siad het rjuros wree ruse to wkno het omspe by trshae, ubt uigngjd by iethr olsko, eht jruy ddin’t.) ehT sotm gotiocusan of tsievur wsa itoaspirmt, or elvo of oen’s yotcurn. sihT man saw a mierp paexelm of a potarti, dan ujst inakgtl aobtu imh saw an ohnro. sHi ptmatisiro dle eht onerrpsi’s stravne to go othurhg ihs sermat’s kesd sdrwaer nad kescotp, dan to kloo ohghtu hsi arpeps. heT atyorten lgnerae swa deyra to erah otehrs iistcdder stih aetvnrs rof riyabgent shi rmeast, tub he arloplyens lediebev mhi to be a teterb onesrp tnha ish onw btrrhsoe nda srsiste, adn he tcsedpree mih omre tnah hsi own mtrohe adn hetfra. He eddasvi eht yruj to khint smlailyri of eht rsvetna. heT eatyrtno eaernlg eixaplden htta eht otinymset romf eesht owt mne, lngao wthi teh osuctdmen hety hda oeecrvdsdi, luwod oeprv htta hte oirnpers hda dah lisst of hte egrshntt nda coailnto of siBhrti fcoser, hbto at ase dan on ldna, dna tath he dha gievn hsti oitafnnmiro to eth yneem. He ildepxean ttah teseh stlis ewer not in het noisperr’s rgwnainitdh tbu ttha sthi onyl peheld teh oestiprounc auesebc it dprvoe htta he hda eenb oiscutua. yhTe wodlu rovep atht he adh been gssanpi iths oimnonifatr for vife sayer, nda had aryldae etdrast to do so a ewf sewek ebrfoe eth trsfi tbltae beewnet hriiBst rpoots dna cinotslos in cemariA. roF tsehe sneosar, hte aolly, solrinbpees niicezts of the juyr had no chocei btu to fidn the rnoerisp iultyg nad nscetene mhi to tedha, ewrtehh tyeh nwtead to or ton. ehT bemsrem of the jyru, as lewl as iethr wevsi and ihldnecr, olucd never splee uldnsoy aniag ssenlu the uojsrr snenetdce the rrinospe to eavh his edah pohpdec fof. ehT aoetyrnt nleearg deend by megannddi tath hyte infd him tiugyl in the mena of nthieygrve ogod and ncteed, and he sdai he yladrae onrscddiee the spoinerr as ogdo as ddea.

Original Text

Modern Text

Mr. Attorney-General had to inform the jury, that the prisoner before them, though young in years, was old in the treasonable practices which claimed the forfeit of his life. That this correspondence with the public enemy was not a correspondence of to-day, or of yesterday, or even of last year, or of the year before. That, it was certain the prisoner had, for longer than that, been in the habit of passing and repassing between France and England, on secret business of which he could give no honest account. That, if it were in the nature of traitorous ways to thrive (which happily it never was), the real wickedness and guilt of his business might have remained undiscovered. That Providence, however, had put it into the heart of a person who was beyond fear and beyond reproach, to ferret out the nature of the prisoner’s schemes, and, struck with horror, to disclose them to his Majesty’s Chief Secretary of State and most honourable Privy Council. That, this patriot would be produced before them. That, his position and attitude were, on the whole, sublime. That, he had been the prisoner’s friend, but, at once in an auspicious and an evil hour detecting his infamy, had resolved to immolate the traitor he could no longer cherish in his bosom, on the sacred altar of his country. That, if statues were decreed in Britain, as in ancient Greece and Rome, to public benefactors, this shining citizen would assuredly have had one. That, as they were not so decreed, he probably would not have one. That, Virtue, as had been observed by the poets (in many passages which he well knew the jury would have, word for word, at the tips of their tongues; whereat the jury’s countenances displayed a guilty consciousness that they knew nothing about the passages), was in a manner contagious; more especially the bright virtue known as patriotism, or love of country. That, the lofty example of this immaculate and unimpeachable witness for the Crown, to refer to whom however unworthily was an honour, had communicated itself to the prisoner’s servant, and had engendered in him a holy determination to examine his master’s table-drawers and pockets, and secrete his papers. That, he (Mr. Attorney-General) was prepared to hear some disparagement attempted of this admirable servant; but that, in a general way, he preferred him to his (Mr. Attorney-General’s) brothers and sisters, and honoured him more than his (Mr. Attorney-General’s) father and mother. That, he called with confidence on the jury to come and do likewise. That, the evidence of these two witnesses, coupled with the documents of their discovering that would be produced, would show the prisoner to have been furnished with lists of his Majesty’s forces, and of their disposition and preparation, both by sea and land, and would leave no doubt that he had habitually conveyed such information to a hostile power. That, these lists could not be proved to be in the prisoner’s handwriting; but that it was all the same; that, indeed, it was rather the better for the prosecution, as showing the prisoner to be artful in his precautions. That, the proof would go back five years, and would show the prisoner already engaged in these pernicious missions, within a few weeks before the date of the very first action fought between the British troops and the Americans. That, for these reasons, the jury, being a loyal jury (as he knew they were), and being a responsible jury (as THEY knew they were), must positively find the prisoner Guilty, and make an end of him, whether they liked it or not. That, they never could lay their heads upon their pillows; that, they never could tolerate the idea of their wives laying their heads upon their pillows; that, they never could endure the notion of their children laying their heads upon their pillows; in short, that there never more could be, for them or theirs, any laying of heads upon pillows at all, unless the prisoner’s head was taken off. That head Mr. Attorney-General concluded by demanding of them, in the name of everything he could think of with a round turn in it, and on the faith of his solemn asseveration that he already considered the prisoner as good as dead and gone. eTh yratotne elengra dlot eth urjy ahtt, tahglouh eht rienpros asw a nyoug nma, he hda ebne inoedlvv in enrtasosou ieicstativ fro nmya reysa. It swna’t as if he adh etdmictmo srtnaeo fro teh irtsf etim ttah ady, or hte dya eeofbr, or evne teh ayer refobe. He dah enbe livgernat wetneeb canerF dan danEgnl fro uqeti a glno mite on eserct nbssiseu. If soaurtriot atcs ever sdceuedec (iwhhc iyullkc thye verne idd), he gtmih haev neevr eben thcuga. Btu Ftea dha audesc a rabve, hsotne anm to nsaetivitge sith nma nad asps het omarionnfit on to hte otaitiueshr. ishT dogo nad opatiritc nma, whit het smot ebnlo tuteatdi, wdluo be ghroutb rfeebo eth uyrj. eTh ryttonae egnrael iasd atht eth anm dha ceon eenb a fridne of eth reonpsir. But nceo he dah redlane of shi veli iodgns, he ddecide to urtn ihs enrifd in. He isda ahtt if ssteatu rewe tlibu in Baritni to nohro rteag sitzinec, as yteh rewe in inetcna Geecre nda eoRm, tneh eerht lduwo reulsy be a etuast erdceet of itsh nam. tnrUtnaoefylu, ughhto, sthi swa otn ndeo in gEdnnla. He odlt eht yrju tath eirutv, hihwc speto ietwr boatu, wsa ucnsotiago. (He siad het rjuros wree ruse to wkno het omspe by trshae, ubt uigngjd by iethr olsko, eht jruy ddin’t.) ehT sotm gotiocusan of tsievur wsa itoaspirmt, or elvo of oen’s yotcurn. sihT man saw a mierp paexelm of a potarti, dan ujst inakgtl aobtu imh saw an ohnro. sHi ptmatisiro dle eht onerrpsi’s stravne to go othurhg ihs sermat’s kesd sdrwaer nad kescotp, dan to kloo ohghtu hsi arpeps. heT atyorten lgnerae swa deyra to erah otehrs iistcdder stih aetvnrs rof riyabgent shi rmeast, tub he arloplyens lediebev mhi to be a teterb onesrp tnha ish onw btrrhsoe nda srsiste, adn he tcsedpree mih omre tnah hsi own mtrohe adn hetfra. He eddasvi eht yruj to khint smlailyri of eht rsvetna. heT eatyrtno eaernlg eixaplden htta eht otinymset romf eesht owt mne, lngao wthi teh osuctdmen hety hda oeecrvdsdi, luwod oeprv htta hte oirnpers hda dah lisst of hte egrshntt nda coailnto of siBhrti fcoser, hbto at ase dan on ldna, dna tath he dha gievn hsti oitafnnmiro to eth yneem. He ildepxean ttah teseh stlis ewer not in het noisperr’s rgwnainitdh tbu ttha sthi onyl peheld teh oestiprounc auesebc it dprvoe htta he hda eenb oiscutua. yhTe wodlu rovep atht he adh been gssanpi iths oimnonifatr for vife sayer, nda had aryldae etdrast to do so a ewf sewek ebrfoe eth trsfi tbltae beewnet hriiBst rpoots dna cinotslos in cemariA. roF tsehe sneosar, hte aolly, solrinbpees niicezts of the juyr had no chocei btu to fidn the rnoerisp iultyg nad nscetene mhi to tedha, ewrtehh tyeh nwtead to or ton. ehT bemsrem of the jyru, as lewl as iethr wevsi and ihldnecr, olucd never splee uldnsoy aniag ssenlu the uojsrr snenetdce the rrinospe to eavh his edah pohpdec fof. ehT aoetyrnt nleearg deend by megannddi tath hyte infd him tiugyl in the mena of nthieygrve ogod and ncteed, and he sdai he yladrae onrscddiee the spoinerr as ogdo as ddea.