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UNIVERSAL CONDEMNATION OF…

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UNIVERSAL CONDEMNATION OF THE VERDICT. Captain Dreyfus after a trial lasting twenty-nine days was found guilty by five judges to two, with extenuating circum- stances, and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Notice of appeal has been given. The verdict is universally con- demned by the European and American Press. Sympathy with Captai- Dreyfus and horror at the injustice and inhumanity of the Rennes verdict found forcible expression in various forms in London. In the French quarter there were conflicts between Drey- fusards and anti-Dreyfusards, the latter largely predominating. Popular English opinion was expressed from the principal London pulpits. The trial of Captain Dreyfus for selling information to a foreign Power was brought to a close on Saturday (the twenty-ninth sitting), when the Court-martial at Rennes decided by five votes to two that the prisoner was guilty, but with extenuating circumstances." He was accordingly sen- tenced to ten years' imprisonment. The prisoner received the announcement with quiet fortitude, but Me. Demange, his counsel, who concluded an eloquent and powerful speech for the defence an hour or "two before, was bathed in tears, and most of those present were deeply affected. Captain Dreyfus subsequently signed an appeal, which has been forwarded to Paris. The verdict is universally condemned out- side France, where the more respectable portion of the Press is also strongly opposed to the decision of the Court-martial, as being entirely unsupported by the weight of evidence. Proposals are made in the United States, Austria and Italy to boycott the Paris Exhibition, as a protest against this Judicial crime. At seven on Saturday morning, rennes I "was like a city in a state of siege. Soldiers Were everywhere. On the large open place opposite the post office, on all the bridges, at the corners of all streets were soldiers, horse and foot, thickly interspersed with the blue and white uniforms of the gendarmes. Round the court itself were three times the usual numbers keeping back hundreds of people who had tried, and tried in vain, to gain admission. The court was packed with detectives of every kind. The Ministry of the Interior had taken every precaution. I The Press and public were hemmed in oy gendarmes and soldiers, and almost every lllember of the Press had one or more detectives of some sort near him. M. Coupois, the clerk of the court, stated that Dreyfus would have to work out his full ten years, dating from the day of degradation. This opinion, however, is in direct contradiction to that of Mes. Demange and Mornard, and that M. Coupois, who knows less law, is probably wrong. In the opinion of Me. Mornard, the Court of Cassation lawyer, the five years already spent on the Devil's Island may be con- sidered as counting double, in which case on October 25, five years from the date of his arrest, Dreyfus will be free. Other lawyers are of the contrary opinion, and think that the five years on the Devil's Island can only count as five. In either case, except in the possible event of his being pardoned, he will probably be taken in about a week to Corte, in Corsica, to undergo sentence. As to the degradation to which, according to the strict letter of the law, he is also condemned, this "Will probably be remitted altogether owing to the extenuating circumstances mentioned 1n the verdict. Dreyfus first heard of his being again condemned from Me. Labori, accompanied by his secretaries, Maitres Hild and Monira. This was before the formal reading of his Condemnation, which was performed shortly afterwards before the guard assembled under arms. The prisoner was in the little room Contiguous to the court when Me. Labori came up to him. Me. Demange, tired and Unstrung by his exertions, had left it to his Colleague to fulfil the painful mission. You are condemned," murmured Me. ■Labori, embracing Dreyfus, you are con- demned to transportation, but you will not go back to the Devil's Island," and then, as be tore himself from the embrace of his advocate and shook hands with him and his Secretaries, Dreyfus simply replied without ally trace of emotion, "Console my wife." A few minutes afterwards the clerk of the 'Court read the judgment out to him. Mine. Dreyfus is declared to have received the "lenvs with resignation and courage. M. Dema nge concluded his eloquent speech with the following fine peroration :— Gentlemen, I ask of you only one thing, and 'that is, at this moment to cast one more backward glance. Remember what the prisoner was on Devil's Island. Remember how for five vears this man, despite the most horrible sufferings, notwithstanding the 1110-it cruel torture, never was for a single foment alone. A guard was with him night and day. Night or day, lie was never allowed to exchange a syllable with a fellow- creature. I am not speaking of the torture Of his being placed in irons—I am speaking f the terrible mental torture to which he subjected. Well, gentlemen, the spirit ^hieh these sufferings, and these tortures, ..could not curb, that spirit which remained 'Proud and high, I ask you, is it that of a traitor ? I ask you if it is not that, of a loyal lld true soldier. 1 ask you if the man, who has only lived for his children, that they ^ay bear an honoured name this man here, "Who has the cult of honour for his family, I ask you if you can believe him to be a villain and a traitor to his mother country ? -yo, I have no need to proclaim his bllnocence. I say that your verdict will not e a condemnation, for you have been ^lightened. The judges of 1894 had not been so enlightened. They had not before them Esterhazv's writing, but you have it- that is the conducting wire. Ah God has Permitted you, gentlemen, to have it. 11 My t:tsk is now accomplished. It is for you to do yours. 1 pray God (exclaimed Counsel, lifting his arms towards heaven), I pray God that you will restore to our France the concord of which she has so much need," When he uttered the closing sentence of his speech there, WMS a prolonged movement in Court.

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---DREYFUS.