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law that the mere fact of the imputation of motives was in itself sufficient to make a criticism libellous, such a direction would be wholly unwarranted; he might tell them, and he ought to tell them, that if they considered that imputation was not a comment fairly ising from the facts, that then it was libellous; he might give them in the strongest terms he thought fit his advice and opinion that such imputation was unwarranted by the occasion; but he must, in the end, leave it to the honest sense of the jury to compare the criticism with the thing criticised, and on that comparison to say on their oaths whether it is a fair comment or a wanton attack on the character of the author.

Nothing inconsistent with this occurred in the very remarkable trial which has called forth these observations. The question whether the article on which the action was brought was a fair criticism on Dr. Campbell's publication was left to the jury, and no objection was made to the way in which it was left. That article contained passages upon which a construction might be put imputing to Dr. Campbell very gross misconduct; and it was conceded that if this construction was put upon them, then they exceeded the limits of fair criticism. The jury found upon the question so presented to them that they did exceed the limits of fair criticism, but they also found that the writer believed in the truth of the imputations. But when a man makes imputations without lawful occasion, it is no answer to an action to say that he believed in them. If it was established that the imputations cast by the Saturday Review on Dr. Campbell were not within the limits of legitimate criticism, they must be treated as made without lawful occasion. The rule would be intolerable which would hold that the reviewer of a book may say anything of the author which he supposes to be true. To such a rule every word

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that fell from Lord Chief Justice Cockburn is justly applicable. The reviewer may say that which he believes to be true, and which he can find reasonable ground for saying in the book which he criticises; beyond this the privilege ought not and cannot be carried. To this extent, we trust, that in a British court of justice it never will be denied.

Of the merits of the particular case we have not said one word. When questions of fact are fairly submitted to judicial tribunals, we are willing to assume that they are rightly decided. But even were it otherwise, this cannot in the slightest degree affect the principles of law. If we could believe that the jury put too harsh a construction upon the article, or imagine that even with that construction they might possibly have found that it was nothing more than a reasonable comment, still we could only say that the case was fairly and fully tried within the rules of law-that no decision of any general principle was made which interfered with the freedom of criticism, and that no precedent was established dangerous to that freedom, even although in the particular instance we might have expected a different result.

We have devoted so much space to a subject of a character more purely legal than those which we usually discuss, because we believe it to be of immense importance that no encroachment should take place upon the privileges of free and unrestrained criticism. In this journal no inquiry that maintains and defends these privileges can be out of place. We are convinced that every discussion of the rules and principles really laid down by the judges of the Court of Queen's Bench in the case of Dr. Campbell and the Saturday Review will tend to uphold as well as define that 'liberty of criticism, without which,' Lord Ellenborough truly observed, 'we cannot have purity, either of taste or morals.'

libel,* the truth of the libel is no defence; it is only when the party libelled seeks redress in the shape of money compensation that the truth of the imputation can be used in a court of justice in answer to his claim. The greater the truth the greater the libel' is the maxim of the law; but no matter how great the libel, no man can obtain pecuniary compensation for a libel that in reality has done no more in the eye of the law than deprive him of a character to which he never had a right. The act which has done so may be a wrongful one, for which the party committing it is liable to punishment, but it is not an injury for which the law will award compensation. When an action of libel is defended on the ground of the privilege of free discussion, the defence admits the damage, but denies the wrongful act; when it is resisted by pleading the truth of the libel, it admits the wrongful act, but denies any damage cognizable by the law. The first is damnum absque injuriâ, the second is injuria absque damno.

It is, of course, with the first defence only that we are dealing in this paper. Imputation upon character made honestly upon a lawful occasion is not a wrongful act. Whenever this question arises it is the duty of the judge to tell the jury the occasions which the law considers lawful. If there is any dispute upon the subject, it is for the jury to say whether the imputation has been made honestly and within the occasion.

all the varying and innumerable forms which written comment may assume, it is impossible to lay down rules which meet with precision the minute details of each case; it must be left to the common sense of the jury to apply the principle. But the law binds them by no other rule than this: if the criticism be a fair and reasonable criticism upon the publication on which it comments, then it is not a libel; if it be not such fair and reasonable comment, and convey imputations unwarranted by the occasion, then it is a libel, entitling the party injured by it to compensation for the wrongful act.

In every case of criticism upon a publication there is the lawful occasion for discussing the book, and the reputation of the writer so far as it is involved in his book. It is for the jury in each case, upon a review of all the facts, to say whether the criticism does more than honestly discuss these matters. In

But this we say unhesitatingly, that no judge can ever withdraw from the jury the question of the character of the publication on which the action is brought. He can fetter their discretion in deciding it by no absolute rule of law more stringent than that which tells them that every defamatory comment not legitimately arising from the fact of the authorship of the book criticised is a libel, more than this no man commenting on public matters can justly claim; and while it is left to juries to apply this law in every case in which either civil or criminal proceedings are instituted for libel, the liberty of the press and of criticism is perfectly secure. In every case the counsel who defends the person against whom such proceedings are instituted has a right to insist upon the judge leaving that question to the jury. If he accompanies it by any positive direction of law which would compel them to find that question upon any other principle than their own view of all the circumstances, the court of appeal would beyond all question correct this error. If, for instance, any judge were to tell a jury that there was a general principle of

*The Act passed some years ago by Lord Campbell is no exception to the rule. In cases of libels upon matters relating to public matters, that Act permits the party indicted for libel to plead as a defence that the facts stated in the libel are true, and that it is for the public interest that they should be stated. This statute really expands and defends the principle we have above stated as to the discussion of matters affecting the public. It extends the privilege of that discussion by permitting a writer not merely to comment on facts which are already public property, but permits him to use his own knowledge of other facts if he is prepared to prove their truth, and to show that the public interest required him to state them.

law that the mere fact of the imputation of motives was in itself sufficient to make a criticism libellous, such a direction would be wholly unwarranted; he might tell them, and he ought to tell them, that if they considered that imputation was not a comment fairly arising from the facts, that then it was libellous; he might give them in the strongest terms he thought fit his advice and opinion that such imputation was unwarranted by the occasion; but he must, in the end, leave it to the honest sense of the jury to compare the criticism with the thing criticised, and on that comparison to say on their oaths whether it is a fair comment or a wanton attack on the character of the author.

Nothing inconsistent with this occurred in the very remarkable trial which has called forth these observations. The question whether the article on which the action was brought was a fair criticism on Dr. Campbell's publication was left to the jury, and no objection was made to the way in which it was left. That article contained passages upon which a construction might be put imputing to Dr. Campbell very gross misconduct; and it was conceded that if this construction was put upon them, then they exceeded the limits of fair criticism. The jury found upon the question so presented to them that they did exceed the limits of fair criticism, but they also found that the writer believed in the truth of the imputations. But when a man makes imputations without lawful occasion, it is no answer to an action to say that he believed in them. If it was established that the imputations cast by the Saturday Review on Dr. Campbell were not within the limits of legitimate criticism, they must be treated as made without lawful occasion. The rule would be intolerable which would hold that the reviewer of a book may say anything of the author which he supposes to be true. To such a rule every word

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that fell from Lord Chief Justice Cockburn is justly applicable. The reviewer may say that which he believes to be true, and which he can find reasonable ground for saying in the book which he criticises; beyond this the privilege ought not and cannot be carried. To this extent, we trust, that in a British court of justice it never will be denied.

Of the merits of the particular case we have not said one word. When questions of fact are fairly submitted to judicial tribunals, we are willing to assume that they are rightly decided. But even were it otherwise, this cannot in the slightest degree affect the principles of law. If we could believe that the jury put too harsh a construction upon the article, or imagine that even with that construction they might possibly have found that it was nothing more than a reasonable comment, still we could only say that the case was fairly and fully tried within the rules of law-that no decision of any general principle was made which interfered with the freedom of criticism, and that no precedent was established dangerous to that freedom, even although in the particular instance we might have expected a different result.

We have devoted so much space to a subject of a character more purely legal than those which we usually discuss, because we believe it to be of immense importance that no encroachment should take place upon the privileges of free and unrestrained criticism. In this journal no inquiry that maintains and defends these privileges can be out of place. We are convinced that every discussion of the rules and principles really laid down by the judges of the Court of Queen's Bench in the case of Dr. Campbell and the Saturday Review will tend to uphold as well as define that 'liberty of criticism, without which,' Lord Ellenborough truly observed, 'we cannot have purity, either of taste or morals.'

A CHAPTER SHOWING HOW LORD P- BECAME
OUR RECTOR.

E feel that we are of a

W certain amount of duplicity in giving the above heading to this chapter. We are not, indeed, stating anything that is untrue, for Lord P did become our rector, and we intend to show how he became so; but we are prompting the reader to believe that Lord P- is Lord Palmerston, whereas our Lord P was a very small P-beside the noble Premier. There are thousands who feel an interest in Lord Palmerston, who feel no interest whatever in Lord P; and we are afraid that we have been taking undue advantage of this fact in leading them to believe that we are about to disclose all the secrets connected with his election to the rectorial chair at Glasgow. We fear that there are certain affinities between ourselves and those puffing tradesmen who commence their advertisements in the Times by asking, "What are the wild waves saying?" and instead of giving you any information on that interesting point, advise you to purchase Horniman's tea, or the Sydenham trousers. If we have sinned in this respect, we have at least the consolation of thinking that we have sinned in good company, and that we have abundance of other sinners to keep us in countenance. If there is one fact which publishers impress upon the mind of authors more than another, it is that the success of a book depends not so much on its contents as on the choice of title; and we may take it for granted that publishers know their own business. When Mr. Mudie sends us a list of the new works in his library we are guided in our choice entirely by the titles, and every man, on taking up a new magazine, and glancing over the list of its contents, feels instinctively what are the articles he would wish to read. There is a young friend of ours who amuses himself in his leisure hours by doing a little amateur authorship. He had the ambition to write a book, and entrusted his manu

script to the inspection of one of those publishers who act as accoucheurs to young literary aspirants. At length, after some delay, he received an answer: the work was possessed of considerable merit, but its success would be doubtful, unless he could find some more taking title than the one it bore. It was suggested, therefore, that he should string together all the titles which he could possibly think of, and submit them to the publisher to enable him to select the one which he deemed most suitable. Our young friend was not without some humour, so he sat down and wrote out a list of titles of such a thrillingly sensational character that the publisher must have been a man of no ordinary nerve if he could read them to the end, and sleep that night without an attack of nightmare. And if we occupied an editorial chair, which, Dr. Cumming informs us, it would be the great ambition of the apostle Paul to do if he were alive at the present day (though how the doctor attained to this knowledge is one of those things which no one knows but himself), we should impress upon the minds of all our contributors that the acceptance of their articles would depend not so much on the choice of subject as the choice of title.

And now for our Lord P. One winter evening, some fourteen years ago, a party of students had been invited to sup at the house of one of the leading ministers of a certain northern city. The host was a kindhearted, genial man, who delighted in assembling the most talented of the students around his hospitable board, and discussing with them questions in philosophy and science. He had the happy talent-which the Premier possesses in perfection, and which is so rarely possessed by men of advanced years-of so identifying himself with the young men around him, as to cause all difference of age and rank to be forgotten; and every question which turned up was dis

cussed with as much freedom as if the whole party had consisted of students. The great question which agitated the academic mind at that moment was the election of a rector; for this was a university town, and the rectorial chair was vacant. It was only six weeks to the close of the term or session, and before that period had expired the rector had to be chosen, installed, and fêted, so there was no time to be lost. After some conversation, it was jocularly suggested that each of the party should propose a candidate, whose merits should be discussed on the spot. They were all young men of some talent and influence, whose opinions on the subject would have much weight with their fellow-students, and it was felt that, if they acted in concert, they could almost count on victory. Different candidates were proposed, and different opinions expressed regarding their merits; but, as yet, the right man for the right place had not been found. It came to the last of the party to name a candidate, and he unhesitatingly proposed Lord P

a Scottish judge, or paper lord, as the Lords of Session, whose titles die with them, are called in the north. The mention of Lord P-'s name (P— will enable all his old friends to recognize the man, and to those who did not know him it will serve as well as any other name) elicited a shout of laughter, and the proposal was treated as a sort of mauvaise

plaisanterie. When the proposer, however, affirmed that he was quite serious, and gravely asked the cause of their boisterous mirth, every tongue was unloosed to relate some anecdote to prove that, though Lord P was a great wit and humorist, he was not the vir pius, doctus et gravis desiderated by the statutes of the university to fill the rectorial chair.

"Why,' exclaimed one student, with a strong Highland accent, 'he is a mere buffoon. No man could fill the chair better in one way, for he weighs more than twenty stonesin that sense he is indeed a vir gravis ; but where is the pietas and the doctrina? Did you never hear of the trick he played upon the deputation

VOL. LXVIII. NO. CCCCIII.

from the Synod of Cleishmaclaver, while on their way to the annual meeting of the General Assembly? The brethren had started by coach at an early hour, and had to travel some twenty miles before they reached the inn where breakfast was prepared for them. The keen air of our northern hills sharpens the appetite: and when the brethren drove up to the inn they were almost famished with hunger. "Now, gentlemen, just ten minutes for breakfast," said the coachman, as he entered the landlady's snug little parlour to have his own. Ten minutes! The time was short, so they must make the most of it. They rushed into the room where breakfast was spread, and there, basking his ample person before the fire, stood a portly gentleman, dressed somewhat like a dignitary of the Church of England. Their appetite was keener than their curiosity, so they scarcely looked at the stranger, but concentrated all their attention on the viands. Half way in the air, before the morsel had reached their lips, their hands were arrested by a sudden cry of "Stop!" It was the supposed dean or bishop. "Good heavens, gentlemen!" he exclaimed, "have you so far forgotten your sacred profession as to partake of food without invoking a blessing?" The brethren looked like schoolboys detected in some flagrant fault; but, before they had time to remonstrate or explain, the same voice exclaimed, in a tone which enforced obedience, "Let us pray." They instinctively sprung to their feet, and assumed an attitude of decorous devotion, while the stranger offered up a prayer which, they themselves admitted, was superior in unction and expression to those of Dr. Drawlitout himself. He had only one fault-he did not know when to stop. The minutes rolled rapidly away, but the stream of fervent supplication flowed on without a break. They had a terrible struggle the brethren had, as they closed one eye in devotion and ogled the savory viands with the other; but whenever a hand approached the table, it drew back before the stern glance of the stranger, which seemed to comprehend them all. The suf

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