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that he would never have dreamt of such a thing by night, if he had not thought of it by day.
Ib. cb. ri.
Nothing renders the crime of high treason more arbitrary than declaring people guilty of it for indiscreet speeches.
Words do not constitute an overt act; they remain only in idea. When considered by themselves, they have generally no determinate signifičation; for this depends on the tɔne in which they are uttered. It often happens, that in repeating the same words, they have not the same meaning; this depends on their connection with other things: and sometimes more' is signified by silence than by ariy expression whatever. Since there can be nothing so equivocal and ambiguous as all this; how is it possible to convert it into a crime of high treason? Where this law is established, there is an end not only of liberty, but even of its very shadow.
Ib. cb. rii, In writings there is something more permanent thản in words ; but when they are no way preparative to high treason, they cannot amount to that charge.
PLOTS, INFORMERS, AND, SPIES.
IN the kingdom of Tribnia, by the natives called Langden, where I had sojourned some time in my travels, the bulk of the people consists in a manner wholly of discoverers, witnesses, informers, accusers, prosecutors, evidences, swearers, together with several subservient and subaltern instruments, all under the colours, the conduct, and pay, of mị. nisters of state, and their deputies. The plots in that kingdom are usually the workmanship of those persons who desire to raise their own characters of profound politicians ; to restore new vigour to a crazy administration ; to stifle or divert general discontents; to fill their coffers with forfeitures; or raise or sink the opinion of public credit, as either shall best answer their private advantage. It is first agreed, and settled among them, what suspected persons shall be accused of a plot : then effectual care is taken to secure all their letters and papers, and put the owners in chains. These papers are delivered to a set of artists very dexterous in finding out the mysterious meaning of words, syllables, and letters. For instance, they can discover a close-stool to L4
signify a privy-council ; a flock of geese, a senate; a lame dog, * an invader, the plague, 4 standing army; a' buzzard, a prime ministers: the gout, a high priest ; a gibbet, a secretary of state ; 4 chamber-pot, a committee of grandees; a sieve, a court lady; a broom, a revolution ; a mouse-trap, an einployment; a bottomless pit, a treasury; a sink, 'a' court; a cáp and bells, a favourité; a broken reed, a 'court of justice; an empty tun, a general ; a running sore, the administration.
When this method fails, they have others more effectual, which the learned among them call acrostics and anagrams. First, they can decypher. all initial letters into political meanings.': Thus, N, shall signify, a plot ; B, a regiment of horse ; Lg1.4 fleet at sea : or, Secondly, by transposing the letters of the alphabet, in any suspected paper, they can lay open the deepest designs of a discontented party. So, for example, if I should say in a letter to a friend, Our brother Tom bas jäst got the piles; a skilful decypherer would discover, that the same letters, which compose that sentence, inay be ana- , lysed into the following words : Resist-a plot is brought homethe tour.; And this is the anagramatic method.
Swirt. Gulliver's Travels, part in. cb. vi.
THERE is a story in Pausanias of a plot for betraying a city, discovered by the braying of an : ass: the cackling of geese saved the capitol, and
See the proceedings against Bishop Atterbury, State.
Trials, vol. vi.
Cataline's conspiracy was discovered, by a whorea
These are the only three amirnalsas far as I reinember, famous in history as evidences and in formers. 10 77119754E1605
Thoughts on Various Subjects. Ć I COULD never discover the necessity of suspending any law upon which the liberty of the mosti innocent persons, depended; neither do I think this practice. hath made the taste of arbitrary power so agreeable, as that we should desire to see it repeated... Diligent 'inquiries into remote and problematical guilt, with new power of enforcing them by chains, and dungeons, to every person whose face a minister thinks fit to dislike, are not only opposite to that maxim, which declareth it better that ten guilty men should escape, than one innocent suffer ; but likewise leave a gate wide open
toi the whole tribe of informers, the most accursed, and prostitute, and abandoned race, that God ever permitted to plague mankind. 2. However orthodox my sentiments may be while I am now writing, [those very sentiments) may be. come criminal enough to bring me into trouble before midsummer. And indeed I have often wished, for some time past, that a political catechism inight be published by authority four times "a year, in order to instruct us how we are to speak, 1. write, and act, during the current quarter. I have by experience felt the want of such an instructor : for intending to make my court to some people on the prevailing side, by advancing certain old whig
gish principles, which it seems had been exploded about a month before, I have passed for a disaf. fected person. I am not ignorant how idle, a thing it is for a man in obscurity to attempt defending his reputation, while the spirit of faction hath so universally possessed the minds of men, that they are not at leisure to attend to any thing else. They will just give themselves time to libcl and aceuse me; but cannot spare a minute to hear my
defence. So in a plot-discovering age, I have often known an innocent man seized and imprisoned, and forced to lie several months in chains, while the ministers were not at leisure to hear his petition, until they had prosecuted and hanged the number they proposed.
IDEM. Lotter to Pope. Works, vol, ix. Þ• 293-9. I NUMBER among false witnesses all those who make a trade of being informers in hope of favour and reward ; and to this end employ their time, either by listening in public places, to catch up an accidental word, or in corrupting men's servants to discover any unwary expression of their master; or thrusting themselves into company, and then using the most indecent scurrilous language ;. fastening a thousand falsehoods and scandals upon a whole party, on purpose to provoke such an answer as they may turn to an accusation. And truly this ungodly race is said to be grown so numerous, that men of different parties can hardly converse together with any security. Even the