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[235] to what the girls were crying for, but we won't state it lest another dose of Supreme Court law be administered to us. ( “ Not any more at present, I thank ye” ? )

Fenimore closed something before two o'clock, having spoken over an hour and a half. If he had not wasted so much time in promising to make but a short speech and to close directly, he could have got through considerably sooner. Then he did wrong to Richard by continually recurring to and fulsome eulogiums on the argument of “my learned kinsman.” Richard had made a good speech and an effective one—no mistake about it—and Fenimore must mar it first by needless provoking interruptions, and then by praises which, though deserved, were horribly out of place and out of taste. Fenimore, my friend, you and I had better abandon the Bar—we are not likely either of us to cut much of a figure there. Let us quit before we make ourselves ridiculous.

His Honor Judge Willard occupied a brief half hour in charging the Jury. We could not decently appear occupied in taking down this Charge, and no one else did it—so we must speak of it with great circumspection. That he would go dead against us on the Law of the case we knew right well, from his decisions and charges on similar trials before. Not having his Law points before us, we shall not venture to speak of them. Suffice it to say, that they were New York Supreme and Circuit Court Law—no better and no worse than he has measured off to several editorial culprits before us. They are the settled maxims of the Supreme Court of this State in regard to the law of libel as applied to Editors and Newspapers, and we must have been a goose to expect any better than had been served out to our betters. The Judge was hardly, if at all, at liberty to know or tolerate any other.

...

But we have filled our paper, and must close. The Judge charged very hard against us on the facts of the case, as calling for a pretty sizable verdict—our legal guilt had of course been settled long before in the Supreme Court.

When the Charge commenced, we would not have given Fenimore the first red cent for his verdict; when it closed, we understood that we were booked to suffer some. If the Jury had returned a verdict in our favor, the Judge must have been constrained by his charge to set it aside, as contrary to law.

The Jury retired about half-past 2, and the rest of us went to dinner. The Jury were hungry too, and did not stay out long. On comparing notes, there were seven of them for a verdict of $100, two for $200, and three for $500. They added these sums up-total $2,600—divided by 12, and the dividend was a little over $200; so they called it $200 damages and six cents costs, which of course carries full costs against us. We went back from dinner, took the verdict in all meekness, took a sleigh, and struck a bee-line for New York.

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