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He ceased, and the sheriff, who had been temporarily overawed by the extraordinary scene, enforced the warrant, and the meeting was broken up. The delegates descended to the street in silence,—Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags glooming in the distance and night,—an immense and agitated multitude waiting around, over which tossed the flaring flambeaux of the sheriff's train. Gerrald, who was already under arrest, as he descended, spoke aloud, ‘Behold the funeral torches of Liberty!’

Skirving and several others were immediately arrested. They were tried in the first month, 1794, and sentenced, as Muir and Palmer had previously been, to transportation. Their conduct throughout was worthy of their great and holy cause. Gerrald's defence was that of freedom rather than his own. Forgetting himself, he spoke out manfully and earnestly for the poor, the oppressed, the overtaxed, and starving millions of his countrymen. That some idea may be formed of this noble plea for liberty, I give an extract from the concluding paragraphs:—

True religion, like all free governments, appeals to the understanding for its support, and not to the sword. All systems, whether civil or moral, can only be durable in proportion as they are founded on truth and calculated to promote the good of mankind. This will account to us why governments suited to the great energies of man have always outlived the perishable things which despotism has erected. Yes, this will account to us why the stream of Time, which is continually

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Palmer (1)
Thomas Muir (1)
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