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government, they would find that they derived their honour their happiness, and the security of property and principle, from the three great branches which constituted the mixed and limited monarchy of this country; each of which was equally essential, and without which, either would be obviously lessened in its virtue and authority. In combating one of the rules of judgment laid down by Mr. Windham, he observed, that the offensive paragraph must be judged of in its sole, as well as in its collateral sense; and that an author of seditious or libellous matter ought to find no refuge or defence in his own inconsistency. He further argued that the writer of the pamphlet in question, in his metaphor, spoke not of a temporary interruption of the functions of parliament, but of its being lopped off entirely. In saying that the King could go on alone, whether the author meant that the King should possess the legislative power or not, he conceived him to be equally wrong. If the King was supposed to have the power of making laws, then a total subversion and destruction of the constitution must be presumed. If it was supposed that the King had not the legislative power, in that case the position was equally wrong and absurd. He concluded by saying, that he should vote for the motion.
Mr. Sheridan having expunged from his motion that part of it which charged the pamphlet with being a libel on the Revolution, the motion, so amended, was adopted by the House. A committee of enquiry was then appointed to discover the author. From that committee a report was made on the 14th of December. It was presented by Mr. Sheridan, who subsequently moved, that the House should resolve, "That one of the said pamphlets be burned by the hands of the common hangman, in New Palace Yard, at one o'clock on Monday the 21st instant; that another of the said pamphlets be also burned on Tuesday the 22d instant, at the Royal Exchange, by the common hangman; and that the sheriffs of London and Middlesex be directed to attend, and see the same carried into execution." He also proposed, that Mr. Reeves should be ordered to attend at the bar of the House, to receive a repriraand from the Speaker; and that an address should be presented to his Majesty to remove Mr. Reeves from his public employments. Mr. Dundas warmly opposed Mr. Sheridan's motion, and moved as an amendment, "That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, beseeching his Majesty to direct his Attorney-General to prosecute Mr. John Reeves, as author or publisher of the pamphlet called 'Thoughts on the English Government,' and the printers of the said pamphlet." The amendment was supported by Lord Sheffield, and the original motion by Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Fox. Eventually, the House adopted the amendment; only omitting the proposed prosecution of the printer.
Mr. Reeves was, in consequence, brought to trial on the 20th of May following, at Guildhall, before Lord Kenyon; and the jury, after retiring for more than an hour, gave in their verdict in the following remarkable terms: — "The pamphlet which has been proved to have been written by John Reeves, Esq. is a very improper publication; but being of opinion that his motives were not such as are laid in the information, we find him not guilty." It has been said, that the introduction into the verdict of the clause of disapprobation was owing to the obstinacy of a single juryman, who refused to consent to an acquittal on any other terms. However that may be, Mr. Reeves's victory was sufficiently decisive to annoy liis opponents exceedingly. Mr. Sheridan, in particular, was much nettled; and it is said, that Mr. Reeves (who was personally acquainted with him) availed himself of his adversary's soreness to play off just such a scheme of revenge as Sheridan himself might have pursued, had their situations been reversed. Whenever Sheridan seemed to wince at meeting him, or tried to avoid the encounter, Mr. Reeves made a point of following, and offering the compliments of the season; and took so many occasions of paying his respect?, that Sheridan at last began to feel like Monsieur Morbleu in the farce, when asked for Mr. Thompson; and would almost as soon have seen "the old gentleman" himself as Mr. Reeves.
Before the trial, the matter of the charge was discussed in some publications that entered fully into the subject. There was a pamphlet by Mr. George Chalmers, entitled "A Vindication of the Privilege of the People, in respect to the Constitutional Right of Free Discussion; with a Retrospect to various Proceedings relative to the Violations of that Right." Another by the Rev. John Brand, entitled "A Defence of the Pamphlet ascribed to John Reeves, Esq., and entitled 'Thoughts on the English Government,' addressed to the Members of the Loyal Association against Republicans and Levellers." Another, by Mr. Joseph Moser (late a police magistrate), entitled "An Examination of the Pamphlet entitled 'Thoughts on the English Government, addressed to the quiet Good Sense of the People of England.'" Another by Mr. Cawthorne, entitled "A Letter to the King, in Justification of a Pamphlet entitled 'Thoughts on the English Government,' with an Appendix, in Answer to Mr. Fox's Declaration of the-Whig Club."
Nothing was published from the pen of the writer of the pamphlet itself, till the year 1799, when there came out a Second Letter, containing an ample defence of every thing that had been attacked in the First Letter. In the same year, came out a Third Letter, which is principally employed in replying to a publication from Mr. Wooddeson, late Vinerian professor of law at Oxford, which was the only pamphlet published against the First Letter. In January, 1800, there came out a Fourth Letter; and there the author stopped, thinking he had sufficiently maintained the ground he took in his First Letter, by fully answering every thing that had been said against it.
Mr. Reeves's attention was now drawn off to other pursuits, which more particularly called for the vacant time that could be spared from his official employments. Indeed his next voluntary exertion for the public was, according to his sense of duty, deemed, in some sort, to be an official employment. In the new grant of the office of King's printer, in 1799, his name was inserted; and being thus in the joint ownership of an office from which he derived a large profit without sharing in the daily labours of the service, he was anxious to do sometiling that might be useful to the public, and might be thought suitable and appropriate to his new official situation. He considered that the Bible and Prayer Book were copy-rights of his office, and of the two universities. As none could print such works but the authorised printers, it seemed to Mr. Reeves a laudable exertion to devise new forms and modes of printing those works, that should make them, if possible, more commodious for use, and better fitted for the attention and study to be bestowed upon them.
Of the biblical works he was projecting, the first that appeared in print was "A Collation of the Hebrew and Greek Texts of the Psalms," published in July, 1800. In January, 1801, came out an edition, in twelves, of the "Common Prayer ; with an Introduction, containing Observations on the Method and Plan of our Forms of Prayer." Subjoined to the volume are notes on the Epistles and Gospels, and on the Fsalms. In January, 1802, came out his edition of the Bible, in nine volumes octavo. The peculiarity of this edition is in the size of the book, and the disposition of the matter, which differ from every former publication of the Scripture text. The work, as we have already observed, was executed in nine volumes; and the matter was divided into sections, without regard to the chapters and verses ; the chapters and verses being numerically preserved, for the sake of reference, but without division of the matter, as in common Bibles. At the end of each volume were explanatory notes. It appears that there were four editions of this Bible printed in the year 1802: one in nine volumes royal octavo, finely printed; one in nine volumes crown octavo; one hi nine volumes quarto, finely printed; and one in four volumes octavo. This last is without the notes, and without the Apocrypha. In the same year additions were made to the stock of his Common Prayer Books. An edition was very finely printed in royal octavo; another in octodecimo. Mr. Reeves also caused to be printed a Psalter, where the services are contracted, so as to make the smallest possible Prayer Book for carrying to church. Having completed these publications of the Prayer Book and Bible for the English reader, he felt himself at liberty to turn to the biblical works he had in contemplation when he published his "Collation of the Hebrew and Greek Texts of the Psalms." This produced, in the year 1803, an edition of the Greek Testament, in two volumes duodecimo, the matter divided into the same sections that he had adopted in his edition of the English text. In the year 1804, he published the Psalms in Hebrew, under the title of " Psalterium Ecclesiae Anglicanae Hebraicum ;" being the Hebrew psalms divided according to the verses of the psalms in the Liturgy. The Greek Testament, and Hebrew Psalter, as well as the Bible, were humbly presented to the King, as an official contribution from a servant of his Majesty. The Common Prayer Book, as the work next in estimation to the Holy Scriptures, was humbly addressed to the Queen. In both cases it was with the permission of the royal personages.
After the above publications, no more biblical productions were given to the public by Mr. Reeves. The time of account was come; and it appeared, upon a settlement of the whole concern, that the expenditure exceeded the receipt more than two thousand pounds. Mr. Reeves acquiesced contentedly in this, regarding it not as a loss, but as the official contribution to the public for which, together with the labour of the work, he had prepared himself, when he originally planned and entered upon his biblical publications. He parted with his stock of unsold books, together with permission to reprint his Prayer Book and Bible, to persons in the trade, who were better qualified for what now remained, namely, the retail dealing with the public. From this permission to reprint, have proceeded the Prayer Books and Bibles that may be seen in small forms, with Mr. Reeves's name in the title-page, but without his additional matter, which alone could properly make them Mr. Reeves's Prayer Books, or Mr. Reeves's Bibles. This omission was a source of great dissatisfaction to Mr. Reeves, no less than of disappointment to rhose who meant to be purchasers of the whole