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Page 4 of 6

ACT ONE
Scent 2

 

Curtain rises -- It is five hours later.

Sherwood has returned to the Bench, accompanied by Judge Hagerman.

JARVIS
Order. Order in the court. Quiet, back up there! Quiet!
SHERWOOD
Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict?
DAVENISH
Yes, my Lord.
SHERWOOD
Thank you, Mr. Davenish. You have done your duty well. Mr. Rolph, do you wish to say anything before the Court pronounces sentence?
ROLPH
My Lord, the jury's verdict has not been unanticipated by my client, by my colleague Mr. Baldwin, or by myself, given the nature of your Lordship's summation. I believe you went so far as to pronounce my client not only a retailer of calumny but a wholesale retailer of calumny. After that, and given the state of affairs in this Province, in Upper Canada, what other verdict could be expected? But my Lord's words have been taken down, in shorthand, by my client, and also, I am told, by his fellow editor, Mr. Carey, proprietor and publisher of the York Observer. No doubt those words will return to haunt your Lordship in days to come. No doubt, in time, the people themselves will render judgment on them.
ROBINSON
My Lord, my colleague threatens the Court! If I understand him well, he wants the people to decide these matters.
SHERWOOD
Let him proceed, Mr. Robinson. Sentence has not yet been pronouned by this court.
ROBINSON
Quite so, my Lord; quite so.
SHERWOOD
Mr. Rolph, the Court has extended great indulgence, but do not try the patience of the Court much further. There is a limit. As you well know, Mr. Rolph, the Court of King's Bench is constituted of three Judges. Mr. Hagerman not only has a right but a duty to sit on the Bench, and I look forward to receiving his learned advice, should it be desired. Do I make myself clear, Mr. Rolph?
ROLPH
Only too clear, my Lord. I fear anything more I might say would only make matters worse for my client this day. The court of public opinion may have a different view. I see no point in continuing.
SHERWOOD
The accused will stand and face the Court.
  (Collins stands.)
SHERWOOD

Francis Collins, you have been found guilty of libel by a jury of your peers, after a fair trial, with all the protection that the law offered and the Court could afford. (Pulls sheet of paper from inside his robe.)

Francis Collins, it is my duty to pronounce sentence as follows. You shall be incarcerated in the Common Gaol of the District of York for a period of one year; you shall pay a fine of 50 (fifty pounds) at the end of that twelve months' imprisonment; you shall lodge bail, yourself in the amount of 400 (four hundred pounds), and two sureties on your behalf in the amount of 100 (one hundred pounds) each, to ensure you be of good behaviour for a period of one year -- (Hagerman leans over and points with finger at paper from which Sherwood is reading) -- Excuse, me, Mr. Collins -- to ensure you be of good behaviour for a period of three years, and you shall remain committed to gaol and not released until these conditions be complied with. God save the King. Sheriff, remove the prisoner. (General hub-bub.) This Court will now rise until the June Assizes.

JARVIS
All stand. (Sherwood and Hagerman move off the Bench. (Curtain starts to fall.)
VOICE
That's me royal Irish arse of a Chief Justice!
(Curtain)


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