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PICTURE OF AN INFORMER.
BUT the learned gentleman is further pleased to say, that the traverser has charged the government with the encouragement of informers. This, gentlemen, is another small fact that you are to deny at the hazard of your souls, and upon the solemnity of your oaths. You are upon your oaths to say to the sister country, that the government of Ireland uses no such abominable instruments of destruction as informers. Let me ask you honestly, what do you feel, when in my hearing, when in the face of this audience, you are called upon to give a verdict that every man of us, and every man of you know by the testimony of your own eyes to be utterly and absolutely false? I speak not now of the public proclamation of informers with a promise of secrecy and of extravagant reward; I speak not of the fate of those horrid wretches who have been so often transferred from the table to the dock, and from the dock to the pillory; I speak of what your own eyes have seen day after day during the course of this commission from the box where you are now sitting; the number of horrid miscreants who avowed upon their oaths that they had come from the very seat of government-from the castle, where they had been worked upon by the fear of death and the hopes of compensation, to give evidence against their fellows, that the mild and wholesome councils of this government, are holden over these catacombs of living death, where the wretch that is buried a man, lies till his heart has time to fester and dissolve, and is then dug up a witness.
Is this fancy, or is it fact? Have you not seen him, after his resurrection from that tomb, after having been dug out of the region of death and corruption, make his appearance upon the table, the living image of life and of death, and the supreme arbiter of both ? Have you not marked when he entered, how the stormy wave of the multitude retired at his approach ? Have you not marked how the human heart bowed to the supremacy of his power, in the undissembled homage of deferential horror? How his glance, like the lightning of heaven, seemed 10 rive the body of the accused, and mark it for the grave, while his voice warned the devoted wretch of woe and death; a death which no innocence can escape, no art elude, no force resist, no antidote prevent : there was an antidote- a juror's oath—but even that adamantine chain, that bound the integrity of man to the throne of eternal justice, is solved and melted in the breath that issues from the informer's mouth; conscience swings from her moorings, and the appalled and affrighted juror consults his own safety in the surrender of the victim :
Et quæ sibi quisque timebat,
APPEAL ON THE CONSEQUENCES OF A BILL OF
ONE topic more, you will permit me to add. Every act of the sort ought to have a practical morality flowing from its principle: if loyalty and justice require that these infants should be deprived of bread! must it not be a violation of that principle to give them food or shelter ? must not every
loyal and just man wish to see them, in the words of the famous Golden Bull, “ always poor and necessitous, and for ever accompanied by the infamy of their father, languishing in continued indigence, and finding their punishment in living and their relief in dying.”
If the widowed mother should carry the orphan heir of her unfortunate husband to the gate of any man, who might feel himself touched with the sad vicissitudes of human affairs; who might feel a compassionate reverence for the noble blood that flowed in his veins; nobler than the royalty that first ennobled it: that like a rich stream rose till it ran and bid its fountain :-If, remembering the many noble qualities of his unfortunate father, his heart melted over the calamities of the child, if his heart swelled, if his eyes overflowed, if his too precipitated hand was stretched out by his pity, or his gratitude, to the poor excommunicated sufferers, how could he justify the rebel tear, or the traiterous humanity?
DESCRIPTION OF BIGOTRY..
I NO longer behold the ravages of that odious bigotry by which we were deformed, and degraded, and disgraced a bigotry against which no honest man should ever miss an opportunity of putting his countrymen, of all sects and of all descriptions, upon their guard—it is the accursed and promiscuous progeny of servile hypocrisy, of remorseless lust of power-of insatiate thirst of gain--labouring for the destruction of man, under the specious pretences of religion--her banner stolen from the altar of God, and her allies congregated from the abysses of hell, she acts by
votaries to be restrained by no compunctions of humanityfor they are dead to mercy; to be reclaimed by no voice of reason--for refutation is the bread on which their folly feeds they are outlawed alike from their species and their Creator; the object of their crime is social life-and the wages of their sin is social death—for though it may happen that a guilty individual should escape from the law that he has broken, it cannot be so with nations—their guilt is too unwieldy for such escape-they may rest assured that Providence has, in the natural connexion between causes and their effects, established a system of retributive justice, by which the crimes of nations are sooner or later avenged by their own inevitable consequences. But that hateful bigotry --that baneful discord, which fired the heart of man, and steeled it against his brother, has fed at last, and I trust for
CHARACTER OF LORD AVONMORE.
I AM not ignorant, nıy lords, that this extraordinary construction has received the sanction of another court, nor of the surprise and dismay with which it smote upon the general heart of the bar. I am aware that I may have the mortification of being told in another country of that unhappy decision, and I foresee in what confusion I shall hang down my head when I am told it. But I cherish too the consolatory hope, that I shall be able to tell them that I had an old and learned friend, whom I would put above all the sweepings of their hall, who was of a different opinion ; who had derived his ideas of civil liberty from the purest fountains of Athens and of Rome; who had fed the youthful vigour of his studious mind, with the theoretic knowledge of their wisest philosophers and statesmen; and who had refined the
theory into the quick and exquisite sensibility of moral instinct, by contemplating the practice of their most illustrious examples; by dwelling on the sweet soul'd piety of Cimon ; on the anticipated christianity of Socrates ; on the gallant and pathetic patriotism of Epaminondas; on that pure austerity of Fabricius, whom to njove from his integrity would have been more difficult than 10 have pushed the sun from his course. I would add, that if he had seemed to hesitate, it was but for a moment: that his hesitation was like the passing cloud that floats across the morning sun, and hides it from the view, and does so for a moment hide it by involving the spectator without even approaching the face of the luminary : And this soothing hope I draw from the dearest and tenderest recollections of my life, from the remembrance of those attic nights and those refections of the gods which we have spent with those admired and respected and beloved companions who have gone before us ;-over whose ashes the most precious tears of Ireland have been shed : yes, my good lord, I see you do not forget them; I see their sacred forms passing in sad review before your memory; I see your pained and softened fancy recalling those happy meetings, when the innocent enjoyment of social mirth expanded into the nobler warmth of social virtue; and the horizon of the board became enlarged into the horizon of man ;-when the swelling heart conceived and communicated the pure and generous purpose, --when my slenderer and younger taper imbibed its borrowed light from the more matured and redundant fountain of yours. Yes, my lord, we can remember those nights without any other regret than that they can never more return, for
" We spent them not in toys, or lust, or wine :
“ But search of deep philosophy,
“ Wit, eloquence and poesy,