At Howlands in Plymouth. Returned this day from Barnstable. The Case of Cotton and
Nye at Sandwich is remarkable. Cotton has been driving his Interest. This driving
of an Interest, seldom succeeds. Jones of Weston, by driving his, drove it all away.—Where
two Persons in a Town get into such a Quarrell, both must be very unhappy—Reproaching
each other to their faces, relating facts concerning each other, to their Neighbours.
These Relations are denied, repeated, misrepresented, additional and fictitious Circumstances
put to them, Passions inflamed. Malice, Hatred, Envy, Pride fear, Rage, Despair, all
take their Turns.
Father and son, Uncle and Nephew, Neighbour and Neighbour, Friend and Friend are all
set together by the Ears. My Clients have been the Sufferers in both these Representative
Causes. The Court was fixed in the Sandwich Case. Cotton is not only a Tory but a
Relation of some of the Judges, Cushing particularly. Cushing married a Cotton, Sister
of Jno. Cotton, the Register of Deeds at Plymouth. Cushing was very bitter, he was
not for my arguing to the Jury the Question whether the Words were Actionable or not.
He interrupted me— stopped me short, snapd me up.—“Keep to the Evidence—keep to the
Point—dont ramble all over the World to ecclesiastical Councils—dont misrepresent
the Evidence.” This was his impartial Language. Oliver began his Speech to the Jury
with—“A Disposition to slander and Defamation, is the most cursed Temper that ever
the World was plagued with and I believe it is the Cause of the greatest Part of the
Calamities that Mankind labour under.” This was the fair, candid, impartial Judge.
They adjudged solemnly, that I should not dispute to the Jury, whether the Words were
actionable or not.