« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
writing cuiprits, gloated on their tortures, and refreshed himself with their groans. Nor should we marvel at the part which was enacted by him: he was the relapsed adjutant-covered with the surplice, while his mind was in regimentals; there was, after all, in this transaetion little more than “a revival” of the emotions with which he had presided over the tortures of a woman-had ordered her to be brought forth, guarded by a file of soldiers, and in the presence of the whole regiment, caused her raiment to be torn from her back, and woman as she was ordered her shift to be dragged off, until she stood naked to the waist; saw her bound to the triangle—the scourge laid upon her quivering Gesh— beheld her writhing and convulsive motions—heard her shrieks, and did not cry out “hold, hold !” and now, with his hands yet stained with the indelible and “ damned spot” which the blood spattered by the Scurge has left upon them, he comes into this court and asks for a criminal information.
My lords, you may condemn the defendant, for having, under the influence of the resentful feelings, produced by the monstrous outrage which was offered to him by the prosecutor, reverted to these incidents in the life of Archdeacon Trench, but you are not to determine merely whether the defendant is to be blamed, but whether the prosecutor has purged himself of the offences imputed to him. I submit to you that in the entire of the transactions out of which this prosecution has arisen, Archdeacon Trench has acted in such a way, that to the special interference of the King's Bench he is without a claim. There is another consideration which I venture to present to you. As it is entirely matter of discretion with your lordships to grant or to withhold the remedy for which the prosecutor has applied: the public interests are not to be excluded from your regard. Is it judicious of your lordsizips to interfere in the contest which is now waging, not only between triese parties, but between two great religious factions in this country You do no wrong to the prosecutor by refusing him relief in a specific form. He has still a remedy by indictment or by action. On grounds of public policy, it is unwise that you should intermingle in this angry contention, especially where the interposition of your lordships, instead of allaying the popular passions, is calculated to excite them. Let it not be said (as it will be said if you grairt the information) that the Court of King's Bench deliberately approved of the dispersion of an assembly convened for the purposes of religion, by a military force--that your lordships unnecessarily interfered in the fierce controversy which is carried on with all the proverbial rancour of theological ietestation, and that justice left her lofty seat to rush into the midst of il polemical affray, not in order to separate the disputants, but to renovate the combat.
[The Court made the conditional rule absolute, and afterwards sen. tenced Mr. M'Donnell to twelve months' imprisonment. He was, however, discharged from prison by order of government soruc molithio before the expiration of the term of his sentence.
SPIMECH MADE AT THE CLARE ELECTION-PRECEDED BY AN ACCOUNT
OM THAT EVENT, WRITTEN BY MR. SHEIL IN SEPTEMBER, 1828.
The Catholics had passed a resolution to oppose the election of every candidate who should not pledge himself against the Duke of Welling. ton's administration. This measure lay for some time a dead letter ia the registry of the Association, and was gradually passing into oblivion, when an incident occurred which gave it an importance far greater 'har. had originally belonged to it. Lord John Russell, flushed with the victory which had been achieved in the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, and grateful to the Duke of Wellington for the part which he had taken, wrote a letter to Mr. O'Connell, in which he suggested that the conduct of his Grace had been so fair and manly towards the Dissenters, as to entitle him to their gratitude; and that they would consider the reversal of the resolution which had been passed against his government, as evidence of the interest which was felt in Ireland, not only in the great question peculiarly applicable to that country, but in the assertion of religious freedom through the empire. The authority of Lord John Russell is considerable, and Mr. O'Connell, under the influence of his advice, proposed that the anti-Wellington resolution should be withdrawn. This motion was violently opposed, and Mr. O'Connell perceived that the antipathy to the Great Captain was more deeply rooted than he had originally imagined. After a long and tempestuous debate, he suggested an amendment, in which the principle of his original motion was given up, and the Catholics remained pledged to their hostility to the Duke of Wellington's administration. Mr. O'Connell has reason to rejoice at his failure in carrying this proposition ; for if he had succeeded, no ground for opposing the returu of Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald would have existed.
The promotion of that gentleman to a seat in the cabinet created a vacancy in the representation of the county of Clare; and an opportunity was afforded to the Roman Catholic body of proving, that the resolutiou which had been passed against the Duke of Wellington's government was not an idle vaunt, but that it could be carried in a striking instance into effect. It was determined that all the power of the people should be put forth. The Association looked round for a candidate, and without having previously consulted him, selected Major M‘Namara. He is a Protestant in religion, a Catholic in politics, and Milesian in descent. He was called upon to stand.
Some days lapsed and no answer was returned by him. The public mind was thrown into suspense, and various conjectures went abroad as to the cause of this singular omission. Some alleged that he was gone to an island off the coast of Clare, where the proceedings of the Association had not reached him ; while others suggested that he was only waiting until the clergy of the county should declare themselves niore unequi vocally favourable to him. The latter, it was said, had evinced muce
Apathy, and it was rumoured that Dean O'Shaughnessy, who is a distant relative of Mr. Fitzgerald, had intimated a determination not to support any anti-ministerial candidate. The major's silence, and the doubts which were entertained with regard to the allegiance of the priests, created a sort of panic at the Association. A meeting was called, and various opinions were delivered as to the propriety of engaging in a contest, the issue of wlrich was considered exceedingly doubtful, and in which, failure would be attended with such disastrous consequences. Mr. O'Connell himself did not appear exceedingly sanguine ; and Mr. Purcell O'Gorman, a native of Clare, and who had a minute knowlodge of the feelings of the people, expressed apprehensions. There were, however, two gentlemen, (O'Gorman Mahon and Mr. Steele,) who strongly insisted that the people might be roused, and that the priesty were not as lukewarm as was imagined. Upon the zeal of Dear
. O’Shaughnessy, however, a good deal of question was thrown. By a singular coincidence, just as his name was uttered, a gentleman entered, who, but for the peculiar locality, might have been readily mistaken for a clergyman of the Established Church. Between the priesthood of the twu religions there are, in aspect and demeanour, as well as in creed and discipline, several points of affinity, and the abstract sacerdotal character is readily perceptible in both. The parson, however, in his attitude and attire, presents the evidences of superiority, and carries the mannerism of ascendancy upon him. A broad-brimmed hat, composed of the smoothest and blackest material, and drawn by two silken threads into a fire-shovel configuration, a felicitous adaptation of his jerkin to the symmetries of his chest and shoulder, stockings of glossy silk, which displayed the happy proportions of a swelling leg, a ruddy cheek, and a bright authoritative eye, suggested, at first view, that the gentleman who had entered the room while the merits of Dean O'Shaughnessy were under discussion, must be a minister of the prosperous Christianity
the Establishell Church. It was, however, no other than Dean O'Shaughnessy himself. He was received with a burst of applause, which indicated that, whatever surmises with respect to his fidelity had previously gone out, his appearance before that tribunal was considered by the assembly as a proof of his devotion to the public interest. The dean, however, made a very scholastic sort of oration, the gist of which it was by no means easy to arrive at. He denied that he had enlisted himself under Mr. Fitzgerald's banners, but at the same time studiously avoided giving any sort of pledge. He did not state distinctly what his opinion was with respect to the co-operation of the priests with the Association ; and when he was pressed, begged to be allowed to withhold his sentiments on the subject. The Association were not, however, dismayed ; and it having been conjectured that the chief reason for Major M‘Namara having omitted to return an answer was connected with pecuniary considerations, it was decided that so large a sum as five thousand pounds of the Catholic rent should be allocated to the expenses of his election. O'Gorman Mahon and Mr. Steele were directed to proceed at once to Clare, in order that they might have a personal interview with him · and they immediately set off. After au
absence of two days, O'Gorman Malion returned, having left luis colleague behind in order to arouse the people ; and he at length conveyed certain intelligence with respect to the Major's determination. The obligations under which his family lay to Mr. Fitzgerald were such, that he was bound in honour not to oppose him. This information produced & feeling of deep disappointment among the Catholic body, while the Protestant party exulted in his apparent desertion of the cause, and boasted that no gentleman of the county would stoop so low as to acces:of the patronage of the Association. In this emergency, and when i: was universally regarded as an utterly hopeless attempt to oppose th: cabinet minister, the public were astonished by an address from Mr. O'Connell to the freeholders of Clare, in which he offered himself candidate, and solicited their support.
Nothing but his subsequent success could exceed the sensation w lici was produced by this address, and all eyes were turned towards the fielt. sri which so remarkable a contest was to be waged. The two candid entered the lists with signal advantages upon both sides. Mr. O'Con nel iad an unparalleled popularity, which ihe services of thirty years had secured to him. Upon the other hand, Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald presen ed a combination of favourable circumstances, which rendered the iss ue exceedingly difficult to calculate. His father had held the office of prime sergeant at the Irish bar; and, although indebted to the gover 11ment for his promotion, had the virtuous intrepidity to vote against th Union. This example of independence had rendered hire a great favourite with the people. From the moment that his son had obtained access to power, he had employed his extensive influence in doing acts of kindness to the gentry of the county of Clare. He had inundated it with the overflowings of ministerial bounty. The eldest sons of the poorer gentlemen, and the younger branches of the aristocracy, hau been provided for through his means; and in the army, the navy, the treasury, the Four Courts, and the Custom House, the proofs of his political friendship were everywhere to be found.” Independently of any act of his which could be referred to his personal interest, and his anxiety to keep up his influence in the county, Mr. Fitzgerald, who is a man of very amiable disposition, had conferred many services upon ris Clare constituents. Nor was it to Protestants that these manifestacions of favour were confined. He had laid not only the Catholic proprietors, but the Catholic priesthood, under obligation. The bishop of the diocess himself, (a respectable old gentleman who drives about in a gin with a mitre upon it,) is suppozed not to have escaped from his bounties; and it is more than insinuated that some droppings of minis terial manna had fallen upon him. The consequence of this systema,tized and uniform plan of benefaction is obvious. The sense of favou : was heightened by the manners of this extensive distributor of the firvours of the crown, and converted the ordinary feeling of thankfulness into one of personal regard. To this array of very favourable circumstances, Mr. Fitzgerald brought the additional influence arising from bas l'ucent promotion to the cabinet; which, to those who had former bonefits to retur?), afforded an opportunity for the exercise of that kinu
of prospective gratitude which has been described to consist of a lively sense of services to come. These were the comparative advantager with which the ministerial and the popular candidate engaged in this celebrated contest; and Ireland stood by to witness the encounter.
Mr. O'Connell did not immediately set off from Dublin, but before liis departure several gentlemen were despatched from the Association in order to excite the minds of the people, and to prepare the way for him. The most active and useful of the persons who were employed upou this occasion, were the two gentlemen to whom I have already referred, Mr. Steele and O'Gorman Mahon. They are both deserving of special commendation. The former is a Protestant of a respectable fortune in the county of Clare, and who las all his life been devoted to the assertion of liberal principles. In Trinity College he was amongst the foremost of the advocates of emancipation, and at that early period became the intimate associate of many Roman Catholic gentlemen who have since distinguished themselves in the proceedings of the body. Being a man of independent circumstances, Mr. Steele did not devote himself to any profession, and having a zealous and active mind, looked round for occupation. The Spanish war afforded him a field for the display of that generous enthusiasm by which he is distinguished. He voined the patriot army, and fought with desperate valour upon the batceries of the Trocadero. It was only when Cadiz had surrendered, and the cause of Spain became utterly hopeless, that Mr. Steele relinquished this noble undertaking. He returned to England, surrounded by exiles from the unfortunate country, for the liberation of which he had repeatedly exposed his life. It was impossible for a man of so much energy of character to remain in torpor; and on his arrival in Ireland, faithful to the principles by which he had been uniformly swayed, he joined the Catholic Association. There he delivered several enthusiastic declamations in favour of religious liberty. Such a man, however, was fitted for action as well as for harangue; and the moment the contest in Clare began, lie threw himself into the combat with the same alacrity with which he had rushed upon the French bayonets at Cadiz. He was serviceable in various ways. He opened the political campaign by intimating his readiness to fight any landlord who should conceive himself to be aggrieved by an interference with his tenants. This was a very impressive exordium. He then proceeded to canvass for votes; and, assisted by his intimate friend, O'Gorman Mahon, travelled through the country, and, both by day and night, addressed the people from the sultars round which they were assembled to hear him.
It is no exaggezation to say, that to him, and to his intrepid and indefatigable confederate, the success of Mr. O'Connell is greatly to be ascribed. O'Gorman Mahon is introduced into this article as one amongst many figures. He would deserve to stand apart in a portrait. Nature has been peculiarly favourable to him. He has a very striking plysiognomy, of the Corsaii character, which the Protestaut Gulnares, and the Catholic Medoras, find it equally difficult to resist. His tigure is tall, and he is peculiarly free and degagé in all his attitudes avd movements. In any other his attire would appear singularly fantastical. His manners are excecdingly