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CHARACTER OF REYNOLDS THE INFORMER.
ARE you prepared in a case of life and death, of honour and of infamy, to credit a vile informer? The perjurer of one hundred oaths—whom pride, honour, or religion could not bind! the forsaken prostitute of every vice calls on you with one breath to blast the memory of the dead, and blight the character of the living! Do you think Reynolds to be a villain? It is true he dresses like a gentleman, and the confident expression of his countenance, and the tones of his voice, savour strong of growing authority-he measures his value by the coffins of his victims, and in the field of evidence appreciates his fame, as the Indian warrior does in fight, by the number of the scalps with which he can swell his victory! He calls on you by the solemn league of moral justice, to accredit the purity of a conscience washed in its own atrocities! He has promised and betrayed-he has sworn and forsworn—and whether his soul shall go to heaven or to hell, he seems perfectly indifferent, for he tells you he has established an interest in both places! He has told you that he has pledged himself to treason and allegiance, and both oaths has he contemned and broken.
At this time, when reason is affrighted from her seat, aud giddy prejudice takes the reins—when the wheels of society are set in conflagration by the rapidity of their own motion—at such a time does he call upon a jury in Heaven's name, to accredit a testimony blasted by his own accusation! Vile, however, as this execrable informer must feel himself, history, alas ! holds out but too much encouragement to his hopes-for however base and however perjured, I recollect few in
stances between the subject and the crown, where informers have not cut keen and rode awhile triumphant upon public prejudice. I know of no instance where the edge of the informer's testimony has not been fatal, or only blunted by the extent of its execution, after he has retired from public view, hid beneath the heap of his own carnage. I feel, gentlemen, I ought to apologize to Mr. Reynolds for placing him in this point of view, for I frankly own I have no authority save his own accusation.
HENRY GRATTAN was born in Dublin in the year 1751.-His family though not opulent were respectable, and he was fated not only to give them wealth but immortality. After receiving the most liberal education which his country could afford, he was called to the Irish bar; to the routine of which, however, his talents or his inclination were little suited. Through the influence of the late Earl of Charlemont, he was soon elevated to an higher station and gained a voice in the councils of his country. Here it was that his abilities were first developed—at once distinguishing himself, dignifying his patron, and adding to his own fame the full emancipation of his native land. It is impossible to conceive a state more abject than that of Ireland when Mr. Grattan first entered parliament. Night and day he toiled for her deliverance; nor did his efforts cease or relax
till he raised her to a complete participation in all the benefits of the British constitution. A vote of that house*, which he at once liberated and delighted, by putting him in possession of an anıple independence, discharged some small portion of the debt which Ireland owed a man who had, for her sake, unitormly disregarded every personal consideration. Never was there a patriot more splendid and persevering---never was there success more perfect-and never, while Ireland has an head to think, or an heart to feel, can his constellated life be held but in veneration. To say thus much of Mr. GRATTAN is only justice--to say much more of him will be the bounden duty of those who may survive him; and his future historian will have the delightful duty of intertwining the virtues of a private life with the unfading honours of his public character.
* The Irish House of Commons voted Mr. Grattan a grant of fifty thousand pounds.