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My Lord, and
Gentlemen of the Grand Jury,
Her Majesty having been pleased that we
should be assembled this day, under Commissions
issued, not for the holding of an ordinary assize and
Gaol Delivery, but on a special and extraordinary
occasion, it has become my duty to lay before you
the nature and description of the offences to which
those Commissions extend; the class and characters
of the cases which will probably be brought under
your investigation; and the law which will apply
to such cases respectively. It is not my intention,
not indeed have I the power, to detail or commissions
on the circumstances of each particular case
upon which you may be called to enquire. And
undoubtedly it will be more advantageous on the
present occasion, where the committals are,
unfortunately, very numerous upon charges of
the highest crime which can affect society, that
you should receive only a general exposition of
the law which you may yourselves apply to the
circumstances of each individual case, rather
than that you should be embarrassed by any
previous minuteness of detail of the facts
attending each particular case. By such a
course, as it appears to me, the ends of justice
will be attained with more complete certainty,
and with greater satisfaction, both to yourselves
and the public.

[at foot] 1

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