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shall not palliate the seduction of a wife by attempting the murder of her husband-you may teach the public that a jury of moral and honourable men know how to appreciate the lost happiness of the married life--you may bavish a profligate character from your island and send him to some region more congenial to his vices. This you may do by your verdict. But you cannot compensate my broken-hearted client--you cannot, by money, repair his injuries or heal his wounds—you can only impart to him that only consolation of which excessive misery is capable--the sympathy of good and honest men. As to the defendant, he is beyond your reach; his callous impenitence defies you—you may punish but you cannot reclaim him-you may make him sufferyou cannot make him feel.
GENEROUS CONDUCT OF AN INJURED HUSBAND ON
HEARING FROM HIS WIFE A CONFESSION OF HER
GENTLEMEN, it requires obdurate and habitual vice and practised depravity to overbear the natural workings of the human heart; this unfortunate woman had not strength further to resist—she had been seduced-she had been depraved-her soul was burthened with a guilty secret, but she was young in crime and true to nature. She could no longer bear the load of her own conscience-she was overpowered by the generosity of an injured husband, more keen than any reproaches-she was incapacitated from any further dissimulation; she flung herself at his feet.“ I am unworthy," she exclaimed, “ of such tenderness and such goodness--it
is too late— the villain has ruined me and dishonoured you— I am guilty.”—Gentlemen, I told you I should confine myself to facts--I have scarcely made an observation. I will not affront my client's case, nor your feelings, nor my own, by common-placing upon the topic of the plaintiff's sufferings. You are Christians, men--your hearts must describe for me I cannot--I affect not humility in saying that I cannot—no advocate can-as I told you, your hearts must be the advocates. Conceive this unbappy nobleman in the bloom of life, surrounded with every comfort, exalted by high honours and distinctions, enjoying great property, the proud proprietor of an elevated rank and a magnificent mansion, the prouder proprietor a few hours before, of what he thought an innocent and an amiable woman, the happy father of children whom he loved, and loved the more, as the children of a wife whom he adored-precipitated in one hour into an abyss of misery, which no language can represent--loathing his rank—despising his wealth—cursing the youth and health that promised nothing but the protraction of a wretched existence-looking round upon every worldly object with disgust and despair, and finding, in this complicated woe, no principle of consolation except the consciousness of not having deserved it. Smote to the earth, this unbappy man forgot not his character-he raised the guilty, and lost penitent from his feet—he left her punishment to her conscience and to heaven-her pardon he reserved to himself-the tenderness and generosity of his nature prompted him to instant mercy-he forgave her-he prayed to God to forgive her he told her that she should be restored to the protection of her father-that until then her secret should be preserved and her feelings respected, and that her fall from honour should be as easy as it mightbut—there was a forgiveness for which she supplicated and which he steruly refused; he refused that forgiveness which
implies the meanness of the person who dispenses it and which renders the clemency valueless because it makes the man despicable--he refused to take back to his arms the tainted and faithless woman who had betrayed him-he refused to expose himself to the scorn of the world and his own contempt—he submitted to misery–he could not brook dishonour.
WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM PLUNKET was born in the county of Fermannagh, in the province of Ulster, in Ireland. His father was a respectable dissenting minister, and his brother, who died but a few years ago one of the most eminent physicians in Dublin. Doctor Plunket was considered one of the wittiest men of his day. Mr. PLUNKET received his classical education in Trinity College, Dublin, and commenced his law studies at Lincoln's Inn. His career at the Irish bar has been prosperous
and irreproachable, equally distinguished for the researches of a lawyer and the urbanity of a gentleman. In public life, as a politician, he has been equally eminent, filling occasionally some of the first law offices of the country and adding to perfect political consistency, the highest powers as a statesman and an orator. In principles, he is considered as attached to Lord Grenville, and resigned his office as Attorney-general when the Whigs went out in