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of a flippery morning, one might fee where the good-natured people lived, by the afhes thrown on the ice before the doors probably he would have formed a different conjecture of the temper of those whom he might find engaged in fuch fubfcriptions.
Of the checks proper to be established against the abufes of power in thofe courts. Hitherto there are none. But fince so much has been written and published on the federal conftitution; and the neceffity of checks, in all other parts of good government, has been fo clearly and learnedly explained, I find myself so far enlightened as to fufpect some check may be proper in this part also : but I have been at a lofs to imagine any that may not be construed an infringement of the facred liberty of the prefs. At length, however, I think I VOL. I. have
have found one, that, instead of diminishing general liberty, fhall augment it; which is, by restoring to the people a fpecies of liberty of which they have been deprived by our laws, I mean the liberty of the cudgel!. In the rude state of fociety, prior to the existence of laws, if one man gave another ill-language, the affronted perfon might return it by a box on the ear; and if repeated, by a good drubbing; and this without offending against any law: but now the right of making fuch returns is denied, and they are punished as breaches of the peace, while the right of abufing feems to remain in full force; the laws made against it being rendered ineffectual by the liberty of the prefs.
My propofal then is, to leave the liberty of the prefs untouched, to be exercifed in its full extent, force, and vigour, but to permit the liberty of the cudgel to go with it, pari paffu.
my fellow citizens, if an impudent writer attacks your reputation-dearer perhaps to you than your life, and puts his name to the charge, you may go to him as openly, and break his head. If he conceals himself behind the printer, and you can nevertheless discover who he is, you may, in like manner way-lay him in the night, attack him behind, and give him a good drubbing, If your adversary hires better writers than himself, to abuse you more effectually, you may hire brawny porters, ftronger than yourself, to affift you in giving him a more effectual drubbing. goes my project, as to private refentment and retribution. But if the public should ever happen to be affronted, as it ought to be, with the conduct of fuch writers, I would not advise proceeding immediately to these extremities, but that we fhould in moderation content ourselves with
with tarring and feathering, and toffing them in a blanket.
If, however, it should be thought that this propofal of mine may disturb the public peace, I would then humbly recommend to our legiflators to take up the confideration of both liberties, that of the prefs, and that of the cudgel; and by an explicit law mark their extent and limits and at the fame time that they fecure the perfon of a citizen from asfaults, they would likewife provide for the fecurity of his optation,
PAPER: A POEM
SOME wit of old-fuch wits of old there
Whose hints fhow'd meaning, whofe allufions
By one brave ftroke to mark all human-kind, Call'd clear blank paper ev'ry infant mind; When still, as opening sense her dictates wrote, Fair virtue put a feal, or vice a blot.
The thought was happy, pertinent, and true ; Methinks a genius might the plan pursue. I (can you pardon my presumption), I— No wit, no genius, yet for once will try.
Various the papers various wants produce, The wants of fashion, elegance, and use. Men are as various: and, if right I fcan, Each fort of paper represents some man.