« AnteriorContinuar »
general merits of his oratory, but once agile form, though then bent was weakened by its numerous and enfeebled by age; his proud vices too. It was bold and ani and speaking eye, which yet remated, but coarse and vitupe- tained all its early fire; his voice, rative, with some ardent declama though broken by illness and suftion, but much uncalled for personal fering, still possessing much of that allusion. As usual, it contained force and harmony which, in other some jokes; and these, as all his days, gave him such command in a attempts at wit invariably are, were popular assembly. Such was the dull and bad; there was even in man, and such the rival with whom this first address, an effort of appa Mr. O'Connell, then in the maturity rent ambition; a determination, of manhood, entered the list of comthinly veiled, at once to be, if pos- petition ; and before whom, ten years sible the leader of a party. The before, he would bave reeled and venerable John Keogh, to whom sunk in the dust in the very first the Catholics owed so much, was encounter. Mr. Keogh soon after in the room ; coming, in the decline died; he went down to his grave of life, once more to offer bis coun in the naturity of years, and Mr. sels in that cause which he had so O'Connell has kept the field, but often advocated. He was received, with other arms and a different imas he deserved, with the deepest press in his shield from that so long respect; but, amid all the deference borne by the venerable champion. of Mr. O'Connell, the ill-constrain His career has since been perilous ed feelings of rivalry were but too and troubled ; often dangerous to strongly visible; there was no man himself without any possibility of within the reach of memory to benefit to those whose quarrel he whom the Catholics were more deep- professed to esponse. It is a quesly indebted than to Keogh.. He tion with us, whether the Catholic was ardent and fearless in their ser cause has not suffered less from the vice when to be so was hazardous opposition of its enemies, than from and full of danger. His eloquence, the injudicious advocacy of its kinbold and masculine, was often ex dred friends. Nothing could be less erted to rouse the apathy of his calculated to conciliate or disarm countrymen, or subdue the bigot hostility, than the intemperate adry of their opponents. He had dresses, and more intemperate alluraised himself to ample indepen- sions of Mr. O'Connell. His per: dence by the honourable endea sonal attacks were coarse and ofvours of years of industry; and his fensive; those on Mr. Wellesley private life was as respectable as Pole, and Mr. Peel were peculiarly his publie was independent and use virulent and uncalled for ; his latful. All that the Catholics possessed ter reflections on Mr. Plunkett have most valuable in latter days they been in the same style. Yet such owed to his enterprize and devo. intemperance and such illusions tion. He had fearlessly sought an should not remain a charge on the interview with the minister of Eng- Catholic body generally; they are land ; and convinced him, that to quite foreign to the feelings of the preserve Ireland, her people must be respectable portion of it, with whom conciliated. The last repeal was Mr. O'Connell has no connection the result of his endeavours; every whatsoever. If he be, as he would thing about him was manly and open; assume, the leader of any part of the iltimate success of his efforts, the population, it can be only of the and the benefit it would bring to his most uneducated and unreflecting country, were what he considered, division of it; and even with them and not the purchase of a false and he has now fortunately lost much of fleeting popularity. He would not, his influence. Judgment, indeed, neto gratify power, resign an atom of ver has been a quality for which Mr. what he conceived to be principle; O'Connell has been very remarkaor, to gain the people, support a po- hle; his want of it has been strongsition which his good sense told ly exemplified on many occasions bim must weaken that cause to of his public life. His defence of which his heart was devoted. We the late Mr. John Magee, the proremember him well; his fine and prietor of the Dublin Evening Post,
(the leading public journal in Ire- he was cheered by a servile bar, and land) was a strong and lamentable actually applauded from the galleinstance. Mr. Magee, then quite a ries of a Court of Justice by some young man, and in extreme ill of the worthy Aldermen of Dublin, health, was prosecuted by the Irish Mr. O'Connell rose in reply; he Attorney General, "ex officio," for seemed roused by the solitude of his a Libel reflecting on the Government situation, and the dangers of his of that country. Party was then at client, to ten-fold energy and exerits height between the Castle and tion. He spoke ably, powerfully, the Catholics, the bigotry of Mr. and most eloquently; he withstood Saurin on one hand, and the vio the bench, silenced the surrounding lence of Mr. O'Connell and a few bar, and the crown accuser shrunk, followers on the other, had opened dismayed and defeated, before hin. and inilamed all the causes of His duel with Mr. D’Esterre soon quarrel, but no feelings of public after followed, proving fatal to that or private hostility would have unfortunate gentleman. Mr. O'Coninduced a prudent and reflecting nell had in one of his numerous advocate to compromise the safety speeches made some contemptuous of his client, or make him the allusion to the Corporation of Dubdevoted Curtius to fill the political lin, and it was caught at by. Mr. gulph ; his speech to the jury, on D'Esterre as the Quixote of that iis occasion, was most ill-judged body. The worthy corporators of and violent; he stood before them that capital had been so long sufa liring volcano, from whence the fered to rule on the sage principle lasa of fury and intemperance flowed of “Divide et Impera," they were for hours; his address was an in- so much used to see their sapient vective, solely from beginning to and liberal harangues lauded, or at end, against the Irish administration least unquestioned, that they hated and its adherents; it was a collection Mr. O'Connell because he dared to and epitome of all the speeches he question their supremacy, and had had ever made at Catholic Boards often ridiculed and even reviled or Catholic Meetings; with Orange them. He was fond of a jest, and Lodges, and Bible Societies ; all he talked “of the classic name of heaped and mingled together in Abraham Bradley King ;" and his the storm of his indignation : it has followers at a Mansion-house probeen urged as his plea, that Mr. cession, or a Mansion-house feast, Magee must at any rate have been were indignant as a Mussulman who convicted, and that no defence, how beard the mission of his prophet ever moderate, could have brought impeached. Mr. O'Connell bad him an acquittal. But it was not just before had some temporary considered that such a defence must difference with a respectable brother have had the certain effect of entail- barrister in circuit, which the praiseing on his hapless client the un. worthy exertions of the gentlemen mitigated vengeance of the Crown of the bar had settled, when the prosecator, and the heaviest retri- parties (both husbands and fathers) bation from the Bench. Mr. Magee were on the ground, and their piswas too young to think prudently tols levelled in their hands. The for himself, but Mr. O'Connel was Government prints sneered at Mr. sufficiently old, and sufficiently ex. O'Connell, and the magnanimous perienced' both to think and act corporation imagined they might more calmly. The unfortunate de- beard him, because he had preferred fendant was convicted of course, an honourable accommodation to and subsequently sentenced to a long the probable spilling of blood, but and dreary imprisonment, where he they were egregiously mistaken in lay unfriended by those to whom their man: Mr. O'Connell at once he was devoted and without soli- cut short the correspondence of Mr. eitude from the party, by wbom he D'Esterre, by declining to receive, was sacrificed. On his being brought any commanication but a final one ; up for judgment, Mr. O'Connell a challenge was the unprepared rethen appeared in his best garb.; the sult; the parties met some miles speech of the Attorney General was from Dublin ; Mr. D'Esterre, almost räacorous, bigotted and vindjctive; solitary, and unattended from that
body who had cheered him to the Auroram et Gangem panci dignoscere
remota fire deliberately; and, after some
Erroris nebola." pistol play, both levelled together. Mr. D'Esterre received the ball of
A Government proclamation exhis antagonist, and fell; the wound proved mortal-a vital artery was
tinguished it just when its last light eut-an hemorrhage ensued — and
was weakly Pickering-it was an the unfortunate D'Esterre in a few
unnecessary measure--for its final hours expired in the arms of a
moments were rapidly approaching, young and beautiful wife whom he and it long bad all the elements of had only married a short time before, dissolution in itself
. It had ceased and then left destitute and almost
to be remembered by almost its despairing!
nearest friends, and most kindred The warfare of the castle and acquaintance; and the state physiof Mr. O'Connell and his party was
cian went out of his way, to ad. closed by the extinction of the hectic patient, then in the last stage
minister an expiring draught to a Catholic Board, this was the scene where the Irish Cato! disowned this period, Mr. O'Connell seems
of a galloping consumption! At by all beside, was wont to give his little senate laws; never was there to have attained the summit of his than the members and motions of bition could reach, in the sister more heterogeneous compound popularity, and the utmost height
of public notice, to which his amthis strange assembly; chaos was Island: there has been since little order to the confusion that prevailed. Motions on Irish costume one day, remarkable in his career, except his and on Irish vetoism the next. An quarrel and prevented duel with embassy to his holiness the Pope, Peel." Not satisfied with impugning
the present Home Secretary, Mr. and a mission to their excellenza's the Spanish Cortez. An address to principles, Mr. O'Connell, as a victorious General in heroic prose, the habit of personal allusion, and
before mentioned, was too much in and to a patriotic Bricklayer, in it involved him in more contests corresponding measure. to the Virgin, and a hymn to Liber. than one. He had declaimed at one ty. The Canonization of the or
of those eternal meetings, which he thodox Dr. Drangoole, and the
was ever either raising or assisting reception of his Holy Oriflamme at at, either in theatres or Catholic one sitting, and a disavowal of the chapels, of the Irish Secretary hainfallibility of the Doctor, at the ving attacked him in the House of very next meeting, and a rejection would not have ventured to do, were
Commons in his absence, in a way he of him and his standard too; this by the way was hard usage of the he, Mr. O'Connell
, present; the pious Doctor, who had hoisted his report of this assertion, in an Irish banner of exclusive salvation, high paper, met the eye of Mr. Peel on in the front of battle, and who, had
his return to Ireland, and was fol
lowed with more courage than pruhe lived in other days, must have rivalled the intrepidity of the stub- of explanation ; on this being de
dence by an immediate demand born Athanasius, exceeded the cenobitic piety of the unwearied St.
clined, a hostile message from Mr. Francis, or equalled the indefatiga- Peel was the instant result; the ble castigations of Dominic the quarrel becoming public, the Irish Cuirassier himself. Nothing was
Minister and Mr. O'Connell were
both arrested late at night by the too various or dissimilar for the attention and oratory of this indes
Sheriffs of Dublin, and bound, cribable convention; their projects
before the competent authorities extended from Dublin to Rome; against any breach of the peace in from Rome to Cadiz; and, for ought ever, given by Mr. Peel, with the
: an intimation was, howwe remember to the contrary, to Jerusalem itself.
same fearless spirit that marked his
entrance into quarrel, that he was u Omnibus in terris quae sunt a Gadi. ready to adjourn its termination on
other field. It was, in conse- umph of the hapless Queen; and quence, arranged that they should the transition, it was observed, meetin France. Somehow or other, was rather rapid to a court suit, Sir Charles Saxton and Mr. Lid- and a crowded levée, from the garb well, the mutual friends of the so recently worn of her Majesty's parties, had also differed seriously, official adviser. in Ireland (and and at length engaged to terininate that while her cold remains were their disputeon the same ground, and journeying to their final restingin the same way; wbat their cause place in the tomb of her brave anof combat was, we now forget, un- cestors); but the smile of Royal. Jess as Sir Lacius O'Trigger says, ty, like the Pope's dispensation, "they care to do a kind office first can remove allscruples; and Mr. for their friends, and then proceed O'Connell, accordingly, was every to business on their own account." where seen full of delight and joy. Mr. Peel left Ireland at once, and Soberer and more phlegmatic Eng. Mr. O'Connell, with his “ cortege," lishmen beheld such transitions after some preparation, soon after. and demonstrations of rejoicing with Fortunately, his movements, and surprise; their colder feelings were those of his followers, were so mi- at a loss to discover by what the nutely detailed, day after day, in universal pageant was occasioned; the orthodox journals of the pe- but it is the felicitous disposition of riod, with all the accompaniments Irishmen to think more gaily. It was of Homer's heroes, high courage and quite sufficient for them, that their heroic daring beaming on his brow, monarch had come among them, in that there was little danger of any all the fullness of confidence; and sanguinary rencontre occurring; they were determined they would and, on his arriving in London, he be happy; let the sum of human miwas easily traced by the police; and sery, accordingly, have been what it the parental anxieties of Sir Robert may, during the sovereign's stay, Peel the worthy father of his high it never appeared; the sigh of spirited antagonist, fully satisfied. wretchedness was suppressed, and Mr. O'Connell was arrested at bis the moan of famine and anguish hotel, and taken before Lord Ellen- never rose above the gratulations borough, the then chief justice, and of the thronging crowds. We do obliged to enter into recognizances not seek to impeach the ardency of to keep the King's peace, which attachment, which was shewn to - Were afterwards occasionally, re the King during his residence in spited, until all possibility and al. Ireland. We are sure the monarch most memory of quarrel died away. came with the kindest and most beMr. Peel was in France, awaiting nevolent intentions to that country; his antagonist; and Sir Charles seeking, by his great influence, to Saxton and Mr. Liwell also con- amalgamate all parties, and heal trived to meet and fight, but blood- the wounds of religious discord and lessly, and thus ended Mr. O'Con- strife. His parental endeavours nell's expedition against the modern were directed to that great purpose Orlando, whose high and chival while he stayed, and his parting adrous bearing certainly took nothing monition was in the same feeling; from his reputation in the land of urging all to social concord, and the shamrock. On the King's visit breathing the spirit of beneficence to Ireland, Mr.O'Connell so far from and peace. We have heard that being fonnd “ un mauvais sujet,” Mr. O'Connell contemplates the arwas one of the first and loudest in rival of Catholic emancipation as offering the testimonies of his ho- the patent of his admission into the mage to the gracions monarch; his House of Commons. From what speeches were full of loyalty and we know, we do not believe, that, gratulation; he appeared at the if that great and necessary measure Irish court, and his house was re passed to-morrow, there would be markable for the brilliancy of its the smallest likelihood of his reillumination. Some inconsistency, turn to parliament; but if there it is true, was noticed in those were, it is a sphere to which, in our same windows blazing so soon for humble opinion, he is wholly unthe King, which but a few weeks suited. Dis reading and informabefore had been lit up for the tri- tion are not cqual to great ques. Eur. Mag. Jan. 1823.
tions of national policy. His ac parallelled height of wealth and cent, as we before remarked, is power; or the industry, patience, bad; and bis style of oratury, never and perseverance which supplied her eloquent or polished, has become mighty resources, and so markedly deeply debased from his constant distinguish her people. He neither intercourse with Irish mobs. He writes nor speaks for futurity ; a is, beside, much too adyaneed in life, kind of passing publicity and preto acquire that taste and manner, eminence seem all he looks for, and fitted to an English House of Com fully to content him, no matter mons, which is, after all, the first how or where obtained. Amid his and most enlightened assembly in countless speeches we never rememthe world. Mr. O'Connell, though ber a really wise and instructive bold and fluent, has been too mach sentence to have dropped from his in the habit of indulging in the lips, or fallen from his coarse luxury of popular applause, triumphs of his oratory have been to succeed in cammer and more in- solely confined to large popular fluential discussion. In all his congregations, that is, to mobs; for orations, he seems rather to canyass among the better order of his Cathe passing shouts of an inconsider. tholic countrymen he seldom apa ate multitude, than the ultimate suc- peared, and never possessed any cess of the measure he is engaged influence whatever. The best com. in. In his numberless addresses to parison that can be drawn between the thousands, who have attended him and his distinguished predeces him, he never yet sought to correct sor, the venerable and lamented their prejudices, or amend their ha- John Keogh, is the result attained bits ; on the contrary, he cherishes by their contrasted exertious in the their worst bigotry by inflaming same cause. Io times of peculiar it, and slurs over their vices by difficulty and danger, Mr. Keogh imputing all that they suffer to op- steered his bark on a troubled pression, and nothing whatever to ocean, free of all contests, and suc. themselves. He talks to them in ceeded in obtaining for the Cathomournful accents of " the five hun- lics of Ireland the most valuable dred years, a starless night of deso- privileges they now possess. Mr. lation that has passed since the O'Connell's career has been one of green banner of Ireland was tram- inconsistency, strife, and turmoil. pled to the earth by English force He obtained for himself an accesand numbers," but he never ex sion of business and wealth, and for plains to his auditors what has the Catholics at large-nothing. raised England to her present un
TO THE CELEBRATED AND VENERABLE MR. De Luc.
O, bless'd with science, whose resplendent ray