Friday, 29 March 2013

29th March 1813: 'An Attentive Hearer' writes another missive about George Mellor's last words

Mr. PRINTER,—My Opponent this week declares me dead; had it been so, his paragraph might have passed; I would have to know that I am "Game," and still living, ready at all times to assert the truth.

My adversary would fain be thought learned in the law of evidence. It is not however the first time he has made a great noise about what in reality he is perfectly ignorant of. I will endeavour to make this subject intelligible to him, and suppose a case brought before a Jury, in which four respectable persons shall positively declare they were witnesses of a certain fact, and all agree in the account they give of it: to contradict which, seven persons, equally respectable, shall give the following testimony:—Six shall declare they cannot positively say how it was; one, to the best of his knowledge and belief, it was not stated correctly by the four first witnesses; and every one of the seven, when interrogated as to the real fact, shall each give a different account of it.—I would ask the "Diligent Enquirer" if he were one of the Jury, how would he decide?—This is a plain case, exactly similar to our own, four persons of character declare that they distinctly heard the confession of Mellor. Out of seven brought to oppose, six say they cannot positively remember how it was; and one, to the best of his knowledge and belief, thinks it was not so; and all differ in their opinion as to what really said.

The "Diligent Enquirer" may quibble over this if he can: he knows I can prove it to be fact: his cause seems to stand by quibbling, railing and abusing, in which polite attainments he has indeed eminently excelled in the controversy I have had with him; it would be well for him if he would learn in future to be more cautious how he commits himself. One untruth is in general the father of another, so he has proved it. If it were necessary to answer his paragraph at length, I would do it and prove him again wading in falsehoods. The public must however be tired of this dispute, the subject of it is now for ever settled: that the murderers of Mr. Horsfall were declared by their Ringleader to be "Murderers." I believe none will now dispute excepting the "Diligent Enquirer," who has already declared he will not be convinced.—Well might Hudibras say,

Convince a man against his will,
He’s of the same opinion still.


Leeds, March 27th, 1813.

This is from the Leeds Intelligencer of 29th of March 1813.

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