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hallows their resting-place. After all, when life's mockeries shall vanish from before us, and the heart that now beats in the proudest bosom here, shall moulder, unconscious, beneath its kindred clay, art cannot erect a nobler monument, or genius compose a purer panegyric. Such, Gentlemen, was almost the only inheritance with which my client entered the world. He did not disgrace it; his youth, his manhood, his age, up to this moment, have passed without a blemish; and he now stands confessedly the head of the little village in which he lives. About five-and-twenty years ago he married the sister of a highly respectable Roman Catholic clergyman, by whom he had a family of seven children, whom they educated in the principles of morality and religion, and who, until the defendant's interference, were the pride of their humble home, and the charm or the consolation of its vicissitudes. In their virtuous children the rejoicing parents felt their youth renewed, their age made happy: the days of labour became holidays in their smile ; and if the hand of affliction pressed on them, they looked upon their little ones, and their mourning ended. I cannot paint the glorious host of feelings; the joy, the love, the hope, the pride, the blended paradise of rich emotions with which the God of nature fills the father's heart when he beholds his child in all its filial loveliness, when the vision of his infancy rises as it were reanimate before him, and a divine vanity exaggerates every trifle into some mysterious omen, which shall smooth his aged wrinkles and make his grave a monument of honour! I cannot describe them ; but, if there be a parent on the jury, he will comprehend me. It is stated to me, that of all his children there were none more likely to excite such feelings in the plaintiff than the unfortunate subject of the present action; she was his favourite daughter, and she did not shame his preference. You shall find, most satisfac
, torily, that she was without stain or imputation ; an aid and a blessing to her parents, and an example to her younger sisters, who looked up to her for instructiɔn. She took a pleasure in assisting in the industry of their home; and it was at a neighbouring market, where she went to dispose of the little produce of that industry, that she unhappily attracted the notice of the defendant. Indeed, such a situation was not without its interest, a young female, in the bloom of her attractions, exerting her faculties in a parent's service, is an object lovely in the eye of God, and, one would suppose, estimable in the eye of mankind. Far different, however, were the sensations which she excited in the defendant. He saw her arrayed, as he confesses, in charms that enchanted him; but her youth, her beauty, the smile of her innocence, and the piety of her toil but inflamed a brutal and licentious lust, that should have blushed itself away in such a presence. What cared he for the consequences of his gratifica tion ?- There was
“ No honour, no relenting ruth, To paint the parents fondling o'er their child,
Then show the ruined maid, and her distraction wild !" What thought he of the home he was to desolate? What thought he of the happiness he was to plunder? His sensual rapine paused not to contemplate the speaking picture of the cottage-ruin, the blighted hope, the broken heart, the parent's agony, and, last and most withering in the woful group, the wretched victim herself starving on the sin of a promiscuous prostitution, and at length, perhaps, with her own hand, anticipating the more tedious murder of its diseases! He need not, if I am instructed rightly, have tortured his fancy for the miserable consequences of hope bereft, and expectation plundered. Through no very distant vista, he might have seen the form of deserted loveliness weeping over the worthlessness of his worldly expiation, and warning him, that as there were cruelties no repentance could atone, so there were sufferings neither wealth, nor time, nor absence, could alleviate. * If his memory should fail him, if he should deny the picture, no man can tell him half so efficiently as the venerable advocate he has so judiciously selected, that a case might arise, where, though the energy of native virtue should defy the spoliation of the person, still crushed affection might leave an infliction on the mind, perhaps less deadly, but certainly not less indelible. I turn from this subject with an indignation which tortues me into brevity; I turn to the agents by which this contamination was effected.
I almost blush to name them, yet they were worthy of their vocation. They were no other than a menial servant of Mr.
* Mr. Phillips here alluded to a verdict of 50001. obtained at the late Galway Assizes against the defendant, at the suit of Miss Wilson, a very beautiful and in. teresting young lady, for a breach of promise of marriage. Mr. Whitestone, who now pleaded for Mr. Dillon, was Miss Wilson's advocate against him on the occa. sion alluded to.
Dillon; and a base, abandoned, profligate ruffian, a brother-inlaw of the devoted victim herself, whose bestial appetites he bribed into subserviency! It does seem as if by such a selection he was determined to degrade the dignity of the master, while he violated the finer impulses of the man, by not merely associating with his own servant, but by diverting the purest streams of social affinity into the vitiated sewer of his enjoyment. Seduced by such instruments into a low public-house at Athlone, this unhappy girl heard, without suspicion, their mercenary pane. gyric of the defendant, when, to her amazement, but, no doubt according to their previous arrangement, he entered and joined their company. I do confess to you, Gentlemen, when I first perused this passage in
brief, I flung it from me with a contemptuous incredulity. What! I exclaimed, as no doubt you are all ready to exclaim, can this be possible ? Is it thus I am to find the educated youth of Ireland occupied ? Is this the employment of the miserable aristocracy that yet lingers in this devoted country? Am I to find them, not in the pursuit of useful science, not in the encouragement of arts or agriculture; not in the relief of an impoverished tenantry; not in the proud march of an unsuccessful but not less sacred patriotism; not in the bright page
n of warlike immortality, dashing its iron crown from guilty greatness, or feeding freedom's laurel with the blood of the despot ! but am I to find them, amid drunken panders and corrupted slaves, debauching the innocence of village-life, and even amid the stews of the tavern, collecting or creating the materials of the brothel! Gentlemen, I am still unwilling to believe it, and, with all the sincerity of Mr. Dillon's advocate, I do intreat you to reject it altogether, if it be not substantiated by the unimpeachable corroboration of an oath. As I am instructed, he did not, at this time, alarm his victim by any direct communication of his purpose; he saw that "she was good as she was fair,” and that a premature disclosure would but alarm her virtue into an impossibility of violation. His satellites, however, acted to admiration. They produced some trifle which he had left for her disposal; they declared he had long felt for her a sincere attachment; as a proof that it was pure, they urged the modesty with which, at a first interview, elevated above her as he was, he avoided its disclosure. When she pressed the madness of the expectation which could alone induce her to consent to his addresses, they assured her that though in the first instance such an event was impossible, still in time it was far from being improbable; that many men from such motives forgot altogether the difference of station, that Mr. Dillon's own family had already proved every obstacle might yield to an all-powerful passion, and induce him to make her his wife, who had reposed an affectionate credulity on his honour! Such were the subtile artifices to which he stooped. Do not imagine, however, that she yielded immediately and implicitly to their persuasions; I should scarcely wonder if she did. Every day shows us the rich, the powerful, and the educated, bowing before the spell of ambition, or avarice, or passion, to the sacrifice of their honour, their country, and their souls: what won. der, then, if a poor, ignorant peasant girl had at once sunk before the united potency of such temptations! But she did not. Many and many a time the truths which had been inculcated by her adoring parents rose up in arms; and it was not until various interviews, and repeated artifices, and untiring efforts, that she yielded her faith, her fame, and her fortunes, to the disposal of her seducer. Alas, alas ! how little did she suppose that a moment was to come when, every hope denounced, and every expectation dashed, he was to fling her for a very subsistence on the charity or the crimes of the world she had renounced for him! How little did she reflect that in her humble station, unsoiled and sinless, she might look down upon
the elevation to which vice would raise her! Yes, even were it a throne, I say she might look down on it. There is not on this earth a lovelier vision ; there is not for the skies a more angelic candidate than a young, modest maiden, robed in chastity ; no matter what its habitation, whether it be the palace or the hut:
“ So dear to Heaven is saintly Chastity,
Till all be made immortal !"Such is the supreme power of chastity, as described by one of our divinest bards, and the pleasure which I feel in the recitation of such a passage is not a little enhanced, by the pride that few countries more fully afford its exemplification than our own. Let
foreign envy decry us as it will, CHASTITY IS THE INSTINCT OF THE IRISH FEMALE ; the pride of her talents, the power of her beauty, the splendour of her accomplishments, are but so many handmaids of this vestal virtue ; it adorns her in the court, it ennobles her in the cottage; whether she basks in prosperity, or pines in sorrow, it clings about her like the diamond of the morning on the mountain floweret, trembling even in the ray that at once exhibits and inhales it! Rare in our land is the absence of this virtue. Thanks to the modesty that venerates, thanks to the manliness that brands and avenges its violation. You have seen that it was by no common temptations even this humble villager yielded to seduction.
I now come, gentlemen, to another fact in the progress of this transaction, betraying, in my mind, as base a premeditation, and as low and as deliberate a deception as I ever heard of. While this wretched creature was in a kind of counterpoise between her fear and her affection, struggling as well as she could between passion inflamed and virtue unextinguished, Mr. Dillon, ardently avowing that such an event as separation was impossible, ardently avowing an eternal attachment, insisted upon perfecting an article which should place her above the reach of contingencies. Gentlemen, you shall see this document, voluntarily executed by an educated and estated gentleman of your country. I know not how you will feel, but for my part I protest I am in a suspense of admiration between the virtue of the proposal and the magnificent prodigality of the provision. Listen to the article: it is all in his own hand writing :-“I promise,” says be,“ to give Mary Connaghton the sum of ten pounds sterling per annum, when I part with her; but if she, the said Mary, should at any time hereafter conduct herself improperly, or (mark this, Gentlemen) has done so before the drawing of this article, I am not bound to pay the sum of ten pounds, and this article becomes null and void, as if the same was never executed. John Dillon.” There, Gentlemen, there is the notable and dignified document for you! take it into your jury box, for I know not how to comment on it. Oh, yes, I have heard of ambition urging men to crime—I have heard of love inflaming even to madness I have read of passion rushing over law and religion to enjoyment; but never, until this, did I see a frozen avarice chilling the hot pulse of sensuality; and desire pause before its brutish draught, that it might add deceit to desolation! I need not tell you, that having provided in the very