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whose character is greatly misunderstood in Ireland: a brave, courageous soldier, and a tolerant man, could he have had his way. The Irish who had fought and lost submitted on terms, and, had law even now been just or tolerant, it was open to the revolutionary régime to have made the Irish good subjects.
But what took place? The penal code came, in all its horror, to fill the Irish heart with hatred and resistance. I will read for you what a Protestant historian-a man of learning and ability–who is now listening to me in this court-has written of that code.
“Godkin's History," published by Cassel of London:
“The eighteenth century was the era of persecution, in which the law did the work of the sword more effectually and more safely. Then was established a code framed with almost diabolical ingenuity to extinguish natural affectionto foster perfidy and hypocrisy-to petrify conscience to perpetuate brutal ignorance to facilitate the work of tyranny—by rendering the vices of slavery inherent and natural in the Irish character and to make Protestantism almost irredeemably odious as the monstrous incarnation of all moral perversions.
Gentlemen, in that fell spirit English law addressed itself to a dreadful purpose here in Ireland; and, mark you, that code prevailed down to our own time; down to this very generation. “Law” called on the son to sell his father; called on the flock to betray the pastor. “Law” forbade us to educate-forbade us to worship God in the faith of our fathers. “ Law” made us outcasts-scourged ustrampled us, plundered us—do you marvel that, among the Irish people, law has been held in " disesteem ?” Do you think this feeling arises from“ sympathy with assassination or murder?"
And lo! once more, for a bright, brief day, Irish national sentiment was in warm sympathy and heartfelt accord with the laws. “ Eighty-two " came. Irish Protestant patriotism, backed by the hearty sympathy of the Catholic millions, raised
up Ireland to a proud and glorious position; lifted our country from the ground, where she lay prostrate under the sword of England—but what do I say? This is "sedition." It has this week been decreed sedition to picture Ireland thus.
Well, then, they rescued her from what I will call the loving embrace of her dear sister, Britannia, and enthroned her in her rightful place, a queen among the nations. ... But sad is the story. Our independent national legislature
torn from us by means the iniquity of which, even among English writers, is now proclaimed and execrated. By fraud and by force that outrage on law, on right, on justice, was consummated. In speaking thus I speak “ sedition.” No one can write the facts of Irish history without committing sedition.
Look at the lessons—unhappy lessons-taught our people by that London legislature where their own will is overborne. Concessions refused and resisted as long as they durst be withheld, and, when granted at all, granted only after passion has been aroused and the whole nation been embittered. The Irish people sought Emancipation. Their great leader was dogged at every step by hostile government proclamations and Crown prosecutions.
Coercion act over coercion act was rained upon us; yet O'Connell triumphed. But how and in what spirit was Emancipation granted? Ah, there never was a speech more preg
1 For publishing an illustration in the " Weekly News," thus picturing England's policy of coercion, Mr. Sullivan had been found guilty of sedia tious libel on the previous trial.
That was a
nant with mischief, with sedition, with revolutionary teaching-never words tended more to bring law and government into contempt-than the words of the English premier when he declared Emancipation must, sorely against his will, be granted, if England would not face a civil war. bad lesson to teach Irishmen. Worse still was taught them. O'Connell, the great constitutional leader, a man with whom loyalty and respect for the laws was a fundamental principle of action, led the people toward further liberation—the liberation, not of a creed, but a nation.
What did he seek? To bring once more the laws and the national will into accord; to reconcile the people and the laws by restoring the constitution of queen, lords, and commons. How was he met by the government?
By the flourish of the sword; by the drawn sabre and the shotted
in the market-place and the highway. “ Law" finally grasped him as a conspirator, and a picked jury gave the Crown then, as now, such verdict as was required. The venerable apostle of constitutional doctrines was consigned to prison, while a sorrowing-ay, a maddened nation wept for him outside. Do you marvel that they held in “ disesteem” the law and government that acted thus? Do you marvel that to day in Ireland, as in every century of all those through which I have traced this state of things, the people and the law scowl upon each other?
Gentlemen, the present prosecution arises directly out of what is known as the Manchester tragedy. The SolicitorGeneral gave you his version-his fanciful sketch-of that sad affair; but it will be my duty to give you the true facts, which differ considerably from the Crown story. The Solicitor-General began with telling us about “the broad summer's sun of the eighteenth of September.” Gentlemen, it seems
Orations. Vol. 22-3
very clear that the summer goes far into the year for those who enjoy the sweets of office; nay, I am sure it is summer “all the year round" with the Solicitor-General while the present ministry remain in. A goodly golden harvest he and his colleagues are making in this summer of prosecutions; and they seem very well inclined to get up enough of them.
Well, gentlemen, I'm not complaining of that, but I will -"ell you who complain loudly—the “outs," with whom it is midwinter, while the Solicitor-General and his friends are enjoying this summer. Well, gentlemen, some time last September two prominent leaders of the Fenian movementalleged to be so, at least-named Kelly and Deasey, were arrested in Manchester. In Manchester there is
In Manchester there is a considerable Irish population, and among them it was known those men had sympathizers. They were brought up at the police court ---and now, gentlemen, pray attentively mark this. The Irish ;)xecutive that morning telegraphed to the Manchester author
ties a strong warning of an attempted rescue. The Manchester police had full notice-how did they treat the timely warning sent from Dublin; a warning which, if heeded, would have averted all this sad and terrible business which followed upon that day? Gentlemen, the Manchester police authorities scoffed at the warning. They derided it as a
Hirish alarm. What! The idea of low Hirish bodmen or laborers rescuing prisoners from them, the valiant and the brave!
Why, gentlemen, the “Seth Bromleys” of the “ force” in Manchester waxed hilarious and derisive over the idea. They would not even ask a truncheon to put to flight even a thousand of those despised “Hirish;” and so, despite specific warning from Dublin, the van containing the two Fenian leaders, guarded by eleven police officers, set out from the police
office to the jail. Now, gentlemen, I charge on the stolid vaingloriousness in the first instance, and the contemptible pusillanimity in the second instance, of the Manchester police -the valiant Seth Bromleys-all that followed.
On the skirts of the city the van was attacked by some eighteen Irish youths, having three revolvers—three revolvers, gentlemen, and no more
The valor of the Manchester eleven vanished at the sight of those three revolvers some of them, it seems, loaded with blank cartridge! The Seth Bromleys took to their heels. They abandoned the van.
Now, gentlemen, do not understand me to call those policemen cowards. It is hard to blame an unarmed man who runs away from a pointed revolver, which, whether loaded or unloaded, is a powerful persuasion to depart.
But I do say that I believe in my soul that if that had occurred here in Dublin, eleven men of our metropolitan police would have taken those three revolvers or perished in the attempt. Oh, if eleven Irish policemen had run away like that from a few poor English lads with barely three revolvers, how the press of England would yell in fierce denunciation-why, they would trample to scorn the name of Irishmen. [Applause in the court, which the officials vainly tried to silence.]
I am sorry, my lord, for the interruption; though not sorry the people should indorse my estimate of the police. Well, gentlemen, the van was abandoned by its valiant guard; but there remained inside one brave and faithful fellow, Brett by
I am now giving you the facts as I in my conscience and soul believe they occurred and as millions of my countrymen-ay, and thousands of Englishmen, toom solemnly beLieve them to have occurred, though they differ in one item