years, and was gradually recovering, when his former
master, David Lisle, met and recognized him one day in
the streets. David Lisle immediately laid his plan ; had
Strong seized soon after by legal authority, and lodged in
the Poultry Compter. The poor man made known his
case, as quickly as possible to Granville Sharp.
On the 18th September, 1767, the cause was tried at
the Mansion House, and the Lord Mayor finding no evi¬
dence against him, told Strong that he was at liberty. " I
seize him," grasping Strong's arm, exclaimed Captain
Laird, who attended on the part of the prosecutor, " as the
property of Mr. Kerr." " And / charge you," said Gran¬
ville Sharp severely, tapping him on the shoulder, " for an
assault." Capt. Laird, alarmed, immediately relinquished
his lawless hold, and Strong went forth unimpeded.
For this procedure, Granville Sharp, was charged with
robbery, by David Lisle, and received a challenge to give
gentlemanlike satisfaction. " You are a lawyer," said
Sharp, " and you shall want no satisfaction which the law
can give you."
But the lawyers whom Sharp consulted declared that the
laws were against him. Sir James Eyre, Recorder of the
City, whom he retained as his counsel, adduced to him,
York and Talbot's opinion, and informed him that Lord
Chief Justice Mansfield, agreed with these gentlemen.
Did he yield; No—Not " like the tender blossom, warm
in summer bowers" was he—but like the storm-rocked
oak, which " each assailing blast, increase of strength sup¬
plies." Eternal law was written on his bosom—the eternal
law of righteousness and love. He would not believe that
the laws of his country could be so utterly at variance
with it, and he determined to probe the matter to the bottom.
He began an intense and comprehensive study of British
law; and his enemies, dubious of their boasted grounds,
artfully protracting the trial, allowed him all the leisure
which he needed. In this difficult task, he had no instruc¬
tor but God—no assistant, except his own diligence—no
encourager, except his conscience. The result of his re¬
search was a tract, " On the injustice and dangerous ten*