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IRELAND AND O'CONNELL.
From the Spectator.
OUR last Postscript indicated the tumult of excitement created among the people of Dublin by the intelligence of the judgment reversed by the House of Lords, which reached that city on the Thursday afternoon. Mr. O'Connell's rooms in Richmond Penitentiary were at once invaded by a crowd of noisy congratulators. He is said to have borne the intelligence “with the same calmness that it was manifest he would have shown had it been of an opposite nature.” The Repeal Association held a special meeting to concert measures for giving éclat to the occasion; and it was resolved to escort Mr. O'Connell from gaol in procession. It was then uncertain what day he would be discharged, but Saturday was fixed upon, as the most probable.
The formal record of the reversal of judgment, however, was brought to Dublin on Friday evening, by one of the traversers' agents, and handed to the Sub-Sheriff; on which the order of discharge was made ; and at seven o'clock Mr. O'Connell left the prison privately and on foot, supported by his sons John and Daniel, and accompanied By Mr. Steele and some others. O'Connell was soon recognized; and as he passed along, a crowd collected and followed him, forming a great concourse when they all reached Merrion Square. Having gained his home, he came out into the balcony, and made a short speech; containing little besides an expression of thanks for the tranquillity which the people had maintained during his incarceration. On being dismissed, the crowd quietly dispersed.
Although the Liberator had left the prison on the Friday evening, the good folks of Dublin were not to be disappointed of their procession; and, that it might have all due effect, early on Saturday morning Mr. O'Connell went back to the prison, It has indeed been suggested the he went back “in order that he might finish one of the devotions of the Catholic Church, which, continuing for a certain number of days, terminated that day. This devotion, entitled the ‘Novena,” it seems was offered up for the purpose of beseeching Heaven that justice might be done. . In this devotion it seems that all the Catholic traversers had united.” The hour of public departure was fixed for noon, but the very size of the procession caused a delay of two hours; for although the head of the body reached the
prison-gates at noon, and went past, it was two o'clock before the triumphal car drew up; and words of impatience escaped from the hero of the pageant. All the city seems to have been in motion, either marching in the line, or standing to see it. The procession comprised the trades of Dublin, each trade preceded by its band; several Repeal Wardens, and private or political friends of O'Connell; many members of the Corporation, and the Lord Mayor, in full costume; and then, preceded by wandbearers, and “Tom Steele” with a branch in his hand, as Head Pacificator, came the car bearing the Liberator. This car was constructed for the chairing of Mr. O'Connell some years ago; but out of Dublin its plan is probably unknown. It is a kind of platform on which are three stages, rising one above the other like steps: profusely decorated with purple velvet, gold fringe, gilt nails, and painting. Six splendid dappled grays slowly drew the cumbrous vehicle along. On the topmast stage, elevated some dozen feet above the crowd, and drawn to his full height, stood O'Connell. Although grown rather more portly since his confinement, and wearing that somewhat anxious expression which has been often noticed of late, he looked well. His head, thrown proudly back, was covered with the green gold and velvet Repeal Cap. He bowed incessantly to the cheering multitude. On the second stage was seated the Reverend Mr. Miley; on the lowest were, Mr. Daniel O'Connell, junior, two of Mr. O'Connell's grandsons, dressed in green velvet tunics, and caps with white feathers, and a harper, in the ancient dress of his craft, inaudibly playing on his instrument. Then followed the other traversers, some with their ladies, and a few friends, in three private carriages; the subordinate Repeal martyrs, also bowing and smiling on all sides; and finally, the lawyers in a coach, carrying the “monster-indictment.” The procession traversed the greater part of Dublin, and did not reach Merrion Square until half-past five o'clock. Having entered his own house, Mr. O'Connell mounted the balcony, and addressed the people. He began with—
“This is a great day for .*.*. dous cheering)—a day of justice All that we ever desired was justice; and we have got an instalment of it at any rate. The plans of the wicked and the conspiracy of the oppressorthe foul mismanagement of the jury-panelthe base conspiracy against the lives, the liberties, and the constitutional rights of the public—have all, blessed be God! been defeated. Justice has thus far been attained; and Ireland may, if she deserves it, be free. But do I doubt the people of Ireland deserving it? If I did, I would be the most stupid as well as the most hase of mankind. How could I doubt them 7°
After a brief allusion to the monster meetings, he remarked that one meeting alone remained unassembled, that of Clontarf–
“Some of the minions of power laid, I fear, a scheme to dye that day in gore—to deluge the soil with the blood of the people; but we disappointed them. I issued my counter-proclamation, and it was obeyed. The people did not put themselves in danger. But the law has since declared that we were acting illegally? Oh, no, it dare not do that; but it spelled out illegality out of a number of legal meetings. Our Clontarf meeting has not taken place as yet; but it will be for the Repeal Association, which has the confidence of the Irish people, to determine whether, it may not be necessary for the sake of public principle to decide whether that meeting may not be hereafter held. (Great cheering.) I hope they may arrive at the conclusion that it is not necessary to have that meeting; but if the cause of liberty requires it, we will all go there—peaceably and unarmed ; and we shall return with an increased determination that Ireland shall be a nation. My own opinion is, that it will not be now necessary to hold the Clontarf meeting, because I think the principle which would call for it has been abundantly vindicated already. Even the trials windicated it.”
But if they did not take that step, what were they to do?—
“We will do every thing that can be necessary to procure Repeal. We will adopt no detail without being perfectly advised as to its propriety and legality. Why, they said that I was not a lawyer, or that I had grown old and forgotten all my law; but I am young enough in law and in fact for them yet. (Cheers.) They said that I, who had so often boasted that no man who followed my advice had ever been brought into jeopardy, or found himself within the fangs of the law—and I often did make that boast—but they turned round upon me and said, ‘Doctor, cure thyself.” They alleged that I, who had avised others well, had misadvised mysels. They said I was guilty of a conspiracy. But I tell them they lie. (Cheers.) And I will tell you who says they lie–Lord Chief Justice Denman, in the House of Peers. (Great cheering.) If I wanted to indulge my vanity, and to have my legal skill tested, I could not have devised a better plan for having my object effected, than that which has taken place throughout the entire of these proceedings.”
He finished by promising to attend in the Conciliation Hall on Monday; when he would announce all his future plans.
On Sunday, the liberation was celebrated by a high religious ceremony in the “Metropolitan Church’’ of the Irish Catholics, that of the Conception, in Marlborough-Street. The structure is of hewn stone, on the model of a Greek temple, of the Doric order; divided within, by fifty columns, into three parallel aisles; the high altar, which rises at some distance from the east end of the church, after the manner of cathedrals on the Continent, is composed, with the “tabernacle,” of white sculptured marble; the “sanctuary” or space round the altar, being railed in. On the left side of this space was a lofty throne, with crimson canopy; on which, gorgeously robed and mitred, sat Dr. Murray, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. At the altar stood Dr. Laphen, the officiating priest, with assistant priests in attendance, and boys in scarlet robes bearing tapers and censers. On the opposite side, beneath the pulpit, were “chairs of state,” on which sat Mr. O'Connell and his coinpanions of “the captivity.” Several members of the Dublin Corporation were present; and the church of course was crowded. In that state was offered “pontifical high mass,” with “a solemn Te Deum, in thanksgiving to Almighty God for the deliverance of the beloved Liberator of his country, and of his fellow-martyrs, from their unjust captivity.” A sermon was preached by the Reverend Dr. Miley; whose discourse was full of allusions to Repeal politics, and to Divine interposition in favor of O'Connell, at the instance of the Virgin Mary ! After the service, O'Connell was followed on his return home by a crowd, hurraing.
The Conciliation Hall was perhaps never so crowded as it was on Monday: estimated to hold 4,000, the people were packed so close together, that, says, one writer, a pin could not have dropped between them; and a still greater crowd remained outside, unable to squeeze into the building; the doors of which were closed at eleven o'clock. At one o'clock, the leaders began to enter; each loudly cheered : Mr Steele was the first of the “martyrs”—Mr
Barrett, Dr. Gray, and then Mr. O'Connell, with his son John, and a body of friends. A hurricane of cheers and felicitations, in Irish and English, saluted them, with immense waving of hats and handkerchiefs: and here a little scene was performed, which is thus described—
“For nearly ten minutes, cheering and applause, which was not surpassed in intensity either at Tara or Mullaghmast, continued to
al through the hall. Mr. O'Connell ac
owledged it by repeatedly bowing around him, kissing his hands to the ladies in the gallery, and placing the crown of his hat on his heart. As he was thus engaged, Mr. Smith O'Brien rushed to the front of the platform, causing is possible an increase in the clamor; and, seizing Mr. O'Connell's hand, shook it vigorously for some moments. Mr. O'Connell then caught Mr. S. O’Brien's hand, and placed it on his heart; whereat the very building trembled and quaked beneath the redoubled cheering and stamping.”
At length the tumult was hushed; and, on the motion of Mr. O'Connell, the Lord Mayor was called to the chair. Mr. Thomas Mathew Ray's appearance was the signal for renewed applause: in acknowledging which, he declared that “it was with the most thrilling delight that he resumed the honorable office of Secretary for Ireland.” The next business was to admit some new members, whose presence and enrolment were hailed with loud gratification—Mr. Somerset Butler, M. P. for Kilkenny; the Honorable George Hely Hutchinson, brother of Lord Donoughmore; and Captain Mockler, described as being an Orangeman, but dismissed from the commission of the peace for declaring against the Union.
Mr. O'Connell rose to hand in some money, and thus began his great speech for the day; perpetually interrupted, as usual, by responsive cheers—
*As I am upon my legs, I believe I may as well proceed at once to address you. . It would be utterly impossible for me to find language adequate to describe the sensations of delight with which I once again appear before this assembly. I had imagined that my voice was to have been suspended at least until the month of May next; but the ‘merry month of May” has come upon us eight months too soon, and we can now rejoice as merry as May-birds. (Cheers and laughter.) But, seriously speaking, we have the most important reasons for rejoicing. A victory was never yet more worthily won, a triumph was never yet more honestly earned. We have had a triumph over combination and foul conspiracy. e
November, 1844. 27
have had a triumph over the crime of packing of juries. We have had a triumph of the constitution; and we are therefore entitled to enjoy the Pleasure and satisfaction of that triumph. The words of the hymn readily suggest themselves to our minds in our present position—“Sit laus plena, sit sonora, sit jucunda, sit decora, mentis jubilatio.” Yes, it is a moment in which the jubilation of the mind should, with proper decorum, but with entire fervor, rejoice in the flood of our triumph and in the victory that we have obtained. I am, as I have stated, utterly unable to describe the sensations that overpower my mind. The first thing that comes upon me with all the force of an absolute certainty is, that the Repeal must be carried—that nothing can impede the Repeal but misconduct on our parts—that recent events prove that the Repeal is in its progress too awful and too important to be retarded by an
means but by our own misconduct alone. It is not by man's effort that we have achieved this victory over fraud, and conspiracy, and injustice. It is not by man's means that so great a change has taken place in one week. Tast week every thing was triumphant on the part of the prosecutor and the oppressor—he had been until then allowed to enjoy his triumph; but the shout of exultation is now on our side. (Cheers.) No, it was not man who did it. We were defeated in every part of the progress of our case. The Judges refused every thing that we demanded for conducting our defence. Every motion that was made on our part, was sure to be negatived by the Bench. Every attempt that we made for our defence, was counteracted by the Judges. Every right given to us to insure an acquittal, was taken away by the selected Jury. (Groans.) We appealed to the House of Lords; but even there we sound the same unfavorable auspices. We found seven out of the nine É.i. Judges giving the most astounding absurd opinions that ever were pronounced by mortal man; but they were not the less against us for bein
absurd. If I ever entertained any ho really I did not—it has been long since banished away; and when the account came to me of the decision in our favor, though the attorneys rushed into my presence, and one of them did me the honor of embracing me, still, notwithstanding that kiss and the words that accompanied it, and with the full knowledge that it was so, or the attorneys would not be there, yet for a full half-hour afterwards I did not believe it. Yes, I repeat, it is not the work of man. It is a blessing bestowed by Providence on the faithful people of Ireland. There is no superstition in representing it as the gift of Providence, no submission in bowing before the throne of God and accepting it as His act. I would not introduce such a topic here if it were contrary to the principles or doctrine of any religious sect represented here. But it is not. It is the doctrine of the Protestant church as well as of the Catholic church, that God interferes with the concerns of man. As Christians they all believe that; and the Book of Common Prayer contains in every part proofs that it is one of the tenets of Protestantism, sor it contains prayers for rain in time of drought, and for other variations in the seasons, as well as for every temporal advantage. I cannot, therefore, hurt an individual prejudice by referring to this subject; and I would not do so if it were possible that any such prejudice could exist. What I have been describing is clearly the doctrine of the Catholic church also. And let us recollect, that millions of the faithful people of Ireland had listed up their hands to God—that the priests of God offered up the holy sacrifice of the mass—that the holy secluded Sisters of Charity united their Pro with these of the priests at the altars. The Catholics of England joined with us on the occasion. The entire Catholic population of Belgium offered up similar prayers; and along the shores of the Rhine the same voice of supplication has been heard. Oh yes, it has been heard, and we stand free before you, thankful to God, and blessing all good men.” (Loud cheers.)
The cause of the defendant Repealers, he said, was identified with the great principles of the British constitution and the interests of liberty, as involving the right to meet in great numbers—the only method of bringing public opinion to bear upon redress of grievances. And what chance would there have been for the Repeal movement if the law-proceedings had been affirmed !—
“There is no impediment now in the way of the peaceable and triumphant termination of the Repeal movement. There is nothing to
revent us, by keeping ourselves within the aw, from meeting, and resolving, and organizing, and fortifying ourselves by the increase of our strength at the registry, and by every other legal means—to bring petitions before the legislature until we make the table of the House of Commons rock beneath the load of the collected complaints of the people of Ireland. The constitutional right is free—the guaranty of trial by jury is secured, and will protect us; and, standing on one and on the other, I here announce, that the universal feeling of the Irish people, from the Giant's Causeway to Cape Clear,and from Connemara to the Hill of Howth, is in favor of the great national cause of Repeal, and must, to any man of common sense and common honesty, appear too strong to render any amount of resistance to it permanently successful.”
He proceeded with a long argument, to rove that the decision of the House of É. was not a crotchety decision upon technicalities, but one founded on the
- “The sixth and seventh counts charged us
with holding public meetings for the purpose of intimidating. These were held by all the Judges here, including even Judge Perrin, to be good counts, and the judgment of the court was given upon them. The Judges of the Irish Court of Queen's Bench gave their judgment on these counts, declaring that they contained charges or offences of a most criminal nature, Judge Burton, in passing the sentence of the court used the words ‘on these counts,’ in allusion to me expressly, and to the other traversers also, but he directed himself expressly to me in that part of his address. He referred directly to these counts as being good counts; and yet, all the English judges have, without an exception, declared them to be bad counts.” [Here Mr. O'Connell digressed, to tell how the Irish judges had consulted on the term of in}...". : Judge Perrin was for six months; udge Burton for twelve; Judge Crampton and Chief Justice Pennefather for two years: Judge Perrin, finding that he could not do better, joined with Judge Burton, and the Court passed a sentence of twelve months. He then returned to the legal fiction about the bad counts.] “It was as clear as the sun at noonday that the judgment had been pronounced against us on the bad counts; but the seven wiseacres of Judges in England presumed otherwise, and decided against us on that presumption. Their decision is, in sact, founded on a lie. (Cheers.) There is no other way of calling it. They call it a presumption of law. I will not waste so o of my breath as to describe it in so roundabout a manner. It was a lie, and I will call it so. It was known to be a lie; and yet the judgment so founded was sought to be supported by Lord Lyndhurst and that indescribable wretch, Brougham, —(Groans)—on this footing, that the lie was supposed to be true, and that we were to be punished against the fact, and in contradiction of the record itself; for the sentence was set forth in the record, ‘for the offences aforesaid.’ That, of course, included all the oftences charged, and, of course, the two bad counts among the rest: so that the record told the truth, but Lords Brougham and Lyndhurst said it told a lie. But then, blessed be Heaven! there were found three men honest enough to speak the truth; and therefore it is that I call upon you to rejoice, because judgment, has been given in our favor on the merits, and the technicalities were on the other side. They attempted to confound truth with a fiction of law, or a lie, but truth, and justice, and the record were with us, and we can make them a compliment of the lie for their portion.”
He made atonement to the whigs, a set of men whom he had often and deservedly assailed—
“After all, how infinitely superior are they to the tory party The principle of toryism is double: it takes away as much of public right from each individual as it can, and it amalgamates all together for the benefit of the aris
tocracy; but where toryism is most terrific, is in its anxiety to do the great injustice of putting partisans upon the bench of justice. The opinion forced upon us from history is, that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the most prejudiced men have been made judges by the tory party; and though in England, during the last thirty or forty years, we have seen but little of party-spirit approaching the bench, we all know that in this country the spirit of toryism remained in full life. I ask you, if the . that I gave the whigs could have been effective for one year more, whether a very different state of things would not now be observable on the bench in this country 7 Should we not have Chief Baron Brady at this moment the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench, with Mr. Pigot the Chief Baron, and Mr.Moore and Mr. Monaghan in the room of Jackson and Lefroy 7 Now, I ask any man who might be inclined to blame me for having supported the whigs, whether he thinks if É.". Brady had been the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench would we have ever heard of this prosecution ?
Having succeeded by the merits of their case, and by the merits and prayers of faithful Christians, the question arose, how they were now to conduct themselves 1–
“It is of the utmost importance that we should act discreetly ; it is absolutely necessary that we should act firmly. We ought to act in the full spirit of conciliation. We ought to endeavor to succeed in augmenting our numbers by every becoming means. e ought to struggle with renewed energy for the Repeal cause by such means; and that struggle should either end in our graves or in having an Irish Parliament once more in College Green. We ought to be encouraged by what has passed; and we are encouraged. The Anti-Irish party—I will not call them the Orange party any longer—should look with hope on our efforts, and no longer absent themselves from our ranks. They should look with forgetsulness on bygone views, and unite with us now for the good of our common country. But how shall we act in future ? Conciliation should be our first duty; and I think the best way of our insuring it is by asking those who absent themselves #. us, to look to the manner in which we have acted up to this period. Have we, in this struggle, injured a single human being 3 Has a single assault been committed ? Has the least violence been done to : person 7 No; miraculous, to speak it; millions have met and assembled together, and et not even an accident has occurred. Such is the spirit of forbearance towards each other that has been exhibited by the Irish people, that that moral miracle has been witnessed, of countless multitudes meeting together without a single act of violence, without a single accident occurring to man, woman, or child. I now turn to my Protestant fellow-countrymen —those among them who have not yet had the
spirit of manliness evinced by the gentlemen near me to unite with their Catholic countrymen for their common interests. And I ask them, are they timid, or doubtful of our integrity, after all that has hitherto been done by us to show them our real feelings Oh, if we were strong enough to shout, ought we not to be strong enongh to do some violence 7 or rather what but the reanimating spirit of affection and conciliation towards each other could have brought them together without some violence taking place 3 Nay, more, were we not in the midst of our strength, with more power than any monarch in Europe possesses in his hands? How did I acquire that power? My lord mayor, I never could attain that power without the assistance of the Catholic clergy; and they would not have given that assistance to me if they had not known the use which I would make of it. Oh, my Protestant fellowcountrymen, listen to this—they knew that I was the first apostle of that political sect that proclaims the possibility of effecting all great changes by moral means alone, and that there is no human revolution worth the shedding of a single drop of human blood to obtain. * * * The Catholic clergy saw these were our principles, and that there was no danger of the laws either of God or man being violated by those who united with us. Protestants of Ireland, what objection can you have to our principles 7 and why not seek to carry them out 7”
He now grappled with the question— “What are we to do?” considering it in three parts, respectively concerning the expediency of holding the Clontarf meeting, the assemblage of three hundred gentlemen as a Preservative Society, and the impeachment of the Judges—
“The Clontars meeting was called legally; it was illegally suppressed. We are bound to adhere to principles; and it is now to be considered whether that rule extends so far, or whether it has been sufficiently vindicated without calling the meeting. For some time I did think that it was absolutely necessary to call it, to vindicate a great principle ; but on reflecting deeply on what has occurred in the House of Lords, and the vindication of its legality put on eternal record by Dennian, Cottenham, and Campbell, I began to doubt that it was necessary. It might create ill feeling, and be construed into a wish to insult; and it might alienate friends. What I mean to do is, upon this day week to propose that it be refer. red to a select committee whether or not it is necessary to hold the Clontars meeting. I do not wish to prejudice their decision, but I must say that my opinion is against the calling of that meeting.
“The next point I wish to lay before you, is with reference to a Fo which I frequently proposed last year. I mean the collection of the Preservative Society for Ireland, consisting