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** from the embossed and gilded ceilings, diffused a chequered
illumination, and left the deep distance in the dusk. The “ transition to the chamber where the company were assembled “and which was glaring with light, presented a brilliant con
trast. Among the guests were the Dukes of Sussex, Devon “shire, and Leinster, Lords Grey, Fitzwilliam, Shrewsbury "Donoughmore, Stourton, Clifford, Arundel, Sir Francis Bur“dett, Mr. Butler of Lincoln's Inn, Mr. Abercrombie, and Mr. “ Denman were also there. The Duke of Norfolk came forwaru s to meet us, and received us in the most cordial manner. Lora “Fitzwilliam was the person with whom I was most disposed to “be pleased. It was impossible to look on this nobleman of the “olden stamp, without a feeling of affectionate admiration. His
warm love of Ireland lives under the ashes of age, and requires “ to be but stirred to emit its former fire. Speak to him of Ire' land, and through the dimness of his eyes a sudden illumina“ tion sheds forth. He reverted with a Nes rian pride to the "period of his own government, and stated that he had preserved “the addresses presented to him by the Catholics of Ireland as “ the best memorials of his life : that he would live long enough " to witness their emancipation seemed to be the wish nearest to “ his heart. It does one good : it is useful in a moral view to
approach a nobleman like Lord Fitzwilliam, and to feel that “ there are politicians, animated by a disinterested solicitude for “ the benefit of mankind. Lord Grey was, I have mentioned, “there : he was silent and reserved. There is something uncom“promising, and even stern in his aspect.
He has a tone of “ sadness which a placeman would interpret into discontent, but “his expression is not atrabilious or morose. He has survived “ the death, and, let me add, the virtue of several illustrious
men, and looks like the solitary column of a fabric, which he .“ had long sustained, and which fell at last, and is strewed in « ruin round him."
It will be seen that Mr. Sheil, some years after this interview saw Lord Grey in a different position and in a very different light. The deputation to London was not attended with success: at one moment Lord Liverpool is supposed to have hesitated, and in order to counteract the impression that he had given way delivered what was called his ether speech." He was in the habit of taking ether on important occasions, and in declaring that his mind was unaltered, used a larger dose than usual, táo which some of his vehemence was ascribed; others attribuited i my his communication with the Duke of York, who took his oath.
in the House of Lords, that he never would consent to Catholic Emancipation, in the event of his succession to the throne. That celebrated invocation was afterwards the cause of Mr. Sheil's committing what he had reason to regard as worse than
n ordinary mistake. Great indignation was naturally produced in the entire Catholic body; and in that sentiment Mr. Sheil largely shared. On his return to Ireland, he took at the Catholic Association a bolder and a more denunciatory tone; but he did not, in the first instance, employ any expressions which the outrage offered to the Catholics of Ireland did not fully warrant. Having, however, attended at a public dinner at Mullingar, and the health of the Duke of York having been proposed, exasperated by what he regarded as a most unworthy proceeding in a Roman Catholic assembly, he gave utterance to phrases, as unjustifiable as Canning's unfortunate alliteration, “ The revered and ruptured Ogden.” Mr. Sheil's fierce assault on the Duke of York was very prejudicial to himself, but it afforded a strong evidence of the violent resentment which the conduct of the Duke of York had created in Irelaná, and was, so far, of public use. When, however, the death of the Duke was hourly expected, Mr. Sheil made a speech at the Association, in which he expressed his sorrow that he had been betrayed into the use of language so reprehensible as that which he had employed : “My “soul,” he exclaimed, in the language of the Lamentations,“ “filled with bitterness, and I was drunk with wormwood. But, “now that we hear that a Prince is dying, and expect every in
stant that a voice will come upon us, to tell that a Prince is “dead'—now that death, who, while he levels the great, subdues “the animosities of the humble, and while he resolves the hearts “of princes into dust, softens the hearts of the lowly into com“miseration—now that the bell of that lofty temple that towers
over the great city, and whose knell is reserved for royalty, has • " begun to toll..... .It is not with affectation that I speak, 's when I declare, that so far from experiencing any feeling oi : truculent bilarity, every emotion of anger, every vindictive " and acrimonious sentiment passes away, and the passions by * which I confess that I was recently actuated, expire within me. “ It is right that the offence which the Duke of York committed " against our country should be committed to forgetfulness. In“deed it is almost unnecessary to express a desire, which the “ natural oblivion, that must befal the greatest as well as the “humblest of mankind, cannot fail to accomplish. In a month hence the Duke of York will be forgotten. The pomp of deathe
a will for a few nights fill the gilded apartments in which his « body will lie in state. The artist will endeavour to avert that decay to which even princes are doomed, and embalm him with odors, which may resist the cadaverous scent for a while. He * will be laid in a vinding sheet fringed with silver and with gold 6 —he will be enclosed in spicy wood, and his illustrious descent “and withered hopes will be inscribed upon his glittering coffin “The bell of St. Paul's will toll, and London-rich, luxurious, Babylonic London—will start at the recollection that eveni
kings must die. The day of his solemn obsequies will arrive “the gorgeous procession will go forth in its funereal glory—the “ ancient chapel of Windsor Castle will be thrown open, and its “aisle will be thronged with the array of kindred Ruyalty-the “ emblazoned windows will be illuminated—the notes of holy
melody will arise—the beautiful service of the dead will be repeated by the heads of the Church, of which he will be the “cold and senseless champion—the vaults of the dead will be “ unclosed—the nobles, and the ladies, and the High Priests of « the land, will look down into those deep depositories of the “ambition and the vanities of the world. They will behold the “ heir to a great empire taking possession, not of the palace, « which was raised at such an enormous and unavailing cost, “ but of that ' house which lasts till doomsday. The coffin will “go sadly and slowly down ; its ponderous mass will strike on " the remains of its regal kindred; the chant will be resumed, a “ moment's awful pause will take place, the marble vault, of i which none but the Archangel shall disturb the slumbers, will “ be closed—the songs of death will cease —the procession will “wind through the aisles again, and restore them to their lone“ liness. The torches will fade again in the open daylight—the “multitude of the great will gradually disperse ; they will roll “ back in their gilded chariots, into the din and tumult of the "great metropolis; the business, and the pursuits, and the frivo“lities of life will be resumed, and the heir to the three kingdoms " will be in a week forgotten. We, too, shall forget; but let us, * before we forget, forgive him !"
Mr. Sheil proceeded to expatiate upon the circumstances to extenuation, which ought ever, in the mind of an Irish Catholic, to be taken into account in extenuating the extent of the great fault committed by the Duke of York, in calling God to witness that he would never assent to the enfranchisement of the Irish people. The apology however, if apology it could be called did not abate the feeling of deep resentment which had been
created among those in high quarters against Mr. Sheil, and it was decided by the government that the Attorney-General should avail himself of the first opportunity which Mr. Sheil should furnish to institute a prosecution against him. A series of vehement harangues were delivered by Mr. Sheil, which were considered to be of a very exciting nature, but it was not until he selected the memoirs of Theobald Wolfe Tone, as the subject of a speech, which the government considered to be fully as minacious as it was admonitory, that it was deemed judicious to institute proceedings against Mr. Sheil in a criminal court. There can be no doubt that the Attorney-General (the present Lord Plunket,) prepared an indictment against Mr. Sheil with great reluctance. It was understood that he took this step by the express directions of the English government :-But in the cabinet itself there were doubts entertained regarding the justice of this proceeding, and Lord Melbourne many years afterwards told Mr. Sheil, at the table of the late Lord Sydenham that Mr. Canning had declared that there was not a sentence of the speech, which would have produced a call of “order” in the House of Commons. Informations having been sworn, Mr Sheil gave bail :-his bail were Mr. O'Connell, and the late Chief Baron Wolfe, between whom and Mr. Sheil there existed a strict friendship from the period in which they first met in Trinity College, to the day on which the country was deprived of that eminent man, in whom a great understanding and a most tender nature were united :-in the interval between the taking of informations, and sending up the indictment, Mr. Sheil made the course pursued by Mr. Plunket the subject of animadversion, and instead of shrinking, declared that he would meet Mr. Plunket face to face in court, and prove that there was nothing in his speech on Wolfe Tone, of whom Mr. Plunket had been an intimate friend,) so seditious as several speeches delivered by Mr. Plunket himself. It was felt by the law-officers that Mr. Sheil might perhaps make a great impression on the jury by pressing topics of this kind, and in order to ensure a conviction, it was of great moment to give in evidence another speech of Mr. Sheil, delivered before that on Wolfe Tone's memoirs, and published in Carrick's Morning Post, hy Mr. Sheil nimself. Mr. Sheil when in Paris, in the year 1826, had become acquainted with the Abbé de Genoude, the proprietor of the Etoile, which is now published under the name of the “Gazette de France." Mr. Sheil's facility in writing French struck the Abbé, and at his suggestion Mr. Slieil wrote several articles op
Ireland, which were read with a great deal of interest in Paris and attracted the notice of the English government. Mr. Shel had referred to these publications in a speech at the Catholic Association, and although it could not separately afford ground for a prosecution, it was considered by the Crown Counsel, that it would, if given in evidence, have a great effect in ensuring a conviction. Mr. Lonergan, the proprietor of Carrick's Morning Post, was called on by the Crown Solicitor for Mr. Sheil's manuscript, but that gentleman peremptorily declared that he would not produce it at the trial. The Crown Counsel then recommended that proof should be given of the words spoken by Mr. Sheil, and accordingly, Mr. Christopher Hughes, who reported at the Association, was applied to by the Crown, but that gentleman, although wholly unknown to Mr. Sheil, and notwithstanding that intimations were given by the Crown that his services would be remembered, gave it to be understood in a manner most honourable to himself, that from hiin no'co-operation in effecting Mr. Sheil's conviction was to be expected. The Crown was thus bafiled, and the success of the prosecution became problematical. Bills of indictment were sent up to the Sessions' grand jury. Mr. Plunket attended the court in Greenstreet, and was accompanied by his friend, Mr. Peter Burrowes. That gentleman seemed anxious to sustain the Attorney-General, whose spirits appeared to droop, or rather to shrink from the performance of a most distasteful office—the prosecution of a man whose language was at most indiscreet, and had been uttered in a cause in which Mr. Plunket himself had spoken so often, with much glowing eloquence, and much indignant elocution. He looked at Mr. Sheil with a countenance expressive of mournfulness, in which sympathy for Mr. Sheil was not unassociated with self-reproach, and when the bills were found, turned his eyes towards Mr. Sheil's counsel with an earnest anxiety to learn what they would do. Mr. Sheil was not himself anxious for postponement, but thought it better that his fate should be at once determined :- but his counsel, Mr. O'Conneil, Mr. Holmes, and the present Judge Perrin, suggested on legal grounds that the trial ought to be postponed. The Attorney-General instead cf objecting, which he might have done, at once acceded to the proposition, and appeared as if a great weight had been taken off his heart. The event proved the wisdom of procrastination; it was not conjectured at the time that the trial was deferred that it could be postponed beyond a few weeks; but in the interva! between the finding of the bills, and the law term to which