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1832.

REX

V.

SLANEY.

letters, yet, as the libel published by him refers and alludes to these letters, and is unintelligible without them, he cannot be allowed to say that a part of the entire malignity of the libel shall be kept back from the Jury, because he did not understand it. Such an objection as that can never shut out the evidence against the publisher. It should be observed, too, that the placard distinctly refers to these letters. It says, "Were you not warned? Did you never have specific information?" And Mr. Fane tells us that he received these letters, and that he himself should not have understood the meaning of the insinuations in the placard, if they had not. Whoever was the author of this placard was clearly the author of the anonymous letters; but even admitting that the defendant did not know of the letters, yet, as they are alluded to in the placard, he cannot prevent their being read.

Campbell.-It has been frequently decided, that whatever shews the quality or probable consequences of a libel, ought to be set out, and ought to be proved. In indictments for seditious libels, where the libels refer to public events, which give a quality to them, those events are stated in the indictments, and proved; but if they are not set out, they cannot be proved.

Manning.-If this were an action, the question would be how the public would understand this placard? but being a criminal proceeding, the question is, how Mr. Fane, the party libelled, would understand it. If in this libel it had been said, that the contents of a certain document were true, and that document contained a certain charge, it would be no defence, that the publisher of the libel did not know the contents of that document; and, in the present case, there is an express allusion to the letters in the placard.

Lord TENTERDEN, C. J.-The correct way is to ask Mr. Fane, whether he considered that the placard referred to

the letters; and I will do so now. Mr. Fane, what did you understand by the expresssions-" Were you not warned?" and, "Did you never have any specific information given you?"

Mr. Fane. I understood those passages to allude to these letters.

Denman, A. G.-It has been said, on the other side, that if a bookseller be charged with a libel, he is to have every thing read in evidence against him which is alluded to in the book that he has published. Now, it seems to be a most dangerous doctrine, that a bookseller, publishing a work in the most innocent language, is to be answerable for other papers of the contents of which he knows nothing. If a book, published by the defendant, says that A. B. is guilty of all that is stated in another book, for this the defendant would be answerable. But, suppose a bookseller to publish a statement, that A. B. walked up St. James's street, could it be said that another paper could be adduced in evidence, in which, walking up St. James's street was coupled with some dreadful offence. Actio non facit reum sed mens. Mr. Campbell has instanced the case of public events having been given in evidence: those are admissible because they are known; but this is the case of letters known only to the writer and the receiver; and although there may be some words in this placard which may refer to these letters, or to something else, still that ought not to let the prosecutor into giving evidence of other things said against him at other times, and not by the present defendant.

Lord TENTERDEN, C. J.-My opinion will be confined to the particular facts of this case, and the evidence already given. Mr. Fane says, that the placard refers to the letters, and would not be intelligible without them; and I think, that a defendant, who refers to other papers in

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1832.

REX

v.

SLANEY.

1832.

REX

V.

SLANEY.

his publication, must submit to have them read, as explanatory of such publication; but it does not at all follow, that the Jury will be satisfied, that the defendant was either the author or the publisher of those papers.

The letters were read.

To shew that the letters were of Mr. Slaney's handwriting, a witness, named Richards, was called. He had never seen Mr. Slaney write; but he had seen a number of letters, which purported to have come from him, on the subject of a cause in which he was engaged on one side, and the witness on the other side; and the witness further stated, that he had acted upon those letters in the course of the cause.

Denman, A. G.-Objected to this witness being asked as to the hand-writing of the defendant.

Lord TENTERDEN, C. J.-How do you prove the handwriting of a person abroad, except by the evidence of those who have corresponded with him?

Denman, A. G.-But there the letters of the party, whose hand-writing is to be proved, have been addressed to the person who has been called to prove it.

Lord TENTERDEN, C. J.-A clerk comes from a merchant's counting-house, and proves the hand-writing of a party by his knowledge of it, acquired by his seeing the letters of the party, which have been received at his master's counting-house. It is frequently done.

The witness was examined as to the hand-writing of the defendant. He said, that they were written in a very disguised hand; but that he believed it to be that of the defendant.

The Jury found the defendant guilty on all the counts of the information.

Sir J. Scarlett, Campbell, and Manning, for the prose

cution.

Denman, A. G., F. Pollock, and Follett, for the defen

dant.

[Attornies-Stephens, and in person.]

1832.

REX

v.

SLANEY.

In the ensuing Term, an application was made for a new trial, on affidavits. The affidavits went to shew that the defendant was not the writer of the letters; and, at the suggestion of the Court, the prosecutor consented that the verdict of guilty should be entered on that count only, in which the defendant was charged with having published the placard.

ARCHBOLD, Esq. v. SWEET.

CASE. The first count of the declaration stated, in substance, that, at the time of the committing of the grievances in this and the next count mentioned, the plaintiff was a barrister, and was the author of divers works and treatises, and, amongst others, had written and prepared for publication, and was the author of a certain book or work, then published in his own name, being a Summary of the Law relative to Pleading and Evidence in Criminal Cases, with Precedents of Indictments, &c., which said book was greatly esteemed and approved of, by which the plaintiff had deservedly acquired great gains in his profession, and as such author. That the plaintiff had prepared a second edition of the last-mentioned book or work, and sold the same, and also the copyright, to the defendant and one R. Pheney, in his lifetime, now deceased; that the second

Feb. 9th.

If A., being the book, sell the copyright to B., and B. publish a third edition of

author of a law

the work edited

by another, but not stated to be purchasers were

so, and which

likely to sup

pose was edited

tion having errors and mis

by A., such edi

takes in it,

calculated to injure the reputation of A. as an author:Held, at Nisi

Prius, that, for

this, an action

lies by A. against

B. The ques

tion, whether an edition purports to have been edited by A., is a question for the Jury; but the question, whether the alleged errors and mistakes be so or not, and whether they are such as are calculated to injure the reputation of A. as an author, are questions for the Court.

1832.

ARCHBOLD

".

SWEET.

edition was published; and that the defendant, contriving, &c., "wrongfully and unjustly, and without the leave or license, and against the will of the said plaintiff, printed and published, and caused and procured to be printed and published, a certain edition, being the third edition, as and for, and purporting to be, a third edition, prepared for publication by the said plaintiff, of the said book or work, being a 'Summary of the Law relative to Pleading and Evidence in Criminal Cases, with Precedents of Indictments, and the Evidence necessary to support them;' in which said third edition, so printed and published by the said defendant as aforesaid, there were and are divers and very many gross errors, and blunders, and mistakes, and bad, incorrect, and informal precedents, and which were not contained in the previous editions of the book or work;" and, that the plaintiff did not prepare the said third edition of the last-mentioned book or work for publication. The second count was similar to the first, except that it did not mention the second edition. The third count stated, that the defendant, wrongfully, and without the license of the plaintiff, published a certain edition of the work, (stating the title of it), in the plaintiff's name; and in which edition there were many gross errors, blunders, and mistakes, and bad, incorrect, and informal precedents, and such as are not warranted by law. The fourth count stated, that the defendant caused the third edition to be edited and prepared for publication "by some person who was grossly ignorant of criminal law;" and that the defendant "well knew that such person had introduced into the said third edition, so edited and prepared for publication as last aforesaid, divers and very many gross errors, blunders, and mistakes, and bad and informal precedents, and such as are not warranted by law;" yet, that the defendant, further contriving &c., "wrongfully and unjustly published, and caused and procured the same to be published, in the name of the said plaintiff, and as if he, the said plaintiff, had edited and prepared the same for pub

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