Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/192

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

Nevertheless, at a conference both Houses voted it "a false, malicious, scandalous, infamous, and seditious libel, containing the most false, audacious, and abominable calumnies and indignities against his Majesty, and the most presumptuous and wicked insinuations that our laws, liberties, and properties, and the excellent constitution of this kingdom, were in danger under his Majesty's legal, mild, and gracious government" . . . and that "in abhorrence and detestation of such abominable and seditious practices," it should be burnt in New Palace Yard by the hangman on January 25th. Even a reward of £1,000 failed to discover the author, printer, or publisher of this paper, the condemnation of which rather whets the curiosity than satisfies the reason. I would shrink from saying that a paper so widely disseminated no longer exists; but even if it does not, its non-existence affords no proof that in its time it lacked justification.

But what justification was there for George King, the bookseller, who a few years later did a very curious thing, actually forging and publishing a Royal speech—"His Majesty's most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament on Thursday December 2nd, 1756"? Surely never since the giants of old assaulted heaven, was