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from becoming wandering beggars, as well as orphans on the face of this earth. Oh, I know I need not ask this verdict from your mercy; I need not extort it from your compassion; I will receive it from your justice. I do conjure you, not as fathers, but as husbands :—not as husbands but as citizens :—not as citizens, but as men :—not as men, but as Christians :—by all your obligations, public, private, moral, and religious; by the hearth profaned; by the home desolated; by the canons of the living God foully spurned ; -save, oh! save your fire-sides from the contagion, your country from the crime, and perhaps thousands, yet unborn, from the shame, and sin, and sorrow of this example!
SPEECH OF MR. PHILLIPS
IN THE CASE OF
O’MULLAN 0. M'KORKILL.
DELIVERED IN THE COUNTY COURT-HOUSE, GALWAY.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I am instructed, as of counsel for the Plaintiff, to state to you the circumstances in which this action has originated. It is a source to me, I will confess it, of much personal embarrassment. Feebly, indeed, can I attempt to convey to you, the feelings with which a perusal of this brief has affected me; painful to you must be my inefficient transcript-painful to all who have the common feelings of country or of kind, must be this calamitous compendium of all that degrades our individual nature, and of all that has, for many an age of sorrow, perpetuated a curse upon our national character. It is, perhaps, the misery of this profession, that every hour our vision may be blasted by some withering crime, and our hearts wrung with some agonizing recital; there is no frightful form of vice, or no disgusting phantom of infirmity, which guilt does not array in spectral train before us. Horrible is the assemblage ! humiliating the application ! but thank God, even amid those very scenes of disgrace and of debasement, occasions oft arise for the redemption of our dignity; occasions, on which the virtues breathed into us, by heavenly inspiration, walk abroad in the divinity of their exertion; before whose beam the wintry robe falls from the form of virtue, and all the midnight images of horror vanish into nothing. Joyfully and piously do I recognise such an occasion ; gladly do I invoke you to the generous participation ; yes, Gentlemen, though you must prepare to hear much that degrades our nature, much that distracts our country—though all that oppression could devise against poor—though all that persecution could inflict upon the feeble—though all that vice could wield against the pious though all that the venom of a venal turpitude could pour upon the patriot, must with their alternate apparition afflict, affright, and humiliate you, still do I hope, that over this charnel-house of crime-over this very sepulchre, where corruption sits enthroned upon the merit it has murdered, that voice is at length about to be heard, at which the martyred victim will arise to vindicate the ways of Providence, and prove that even in its worst adversity there is a might and immortality in virtue.
The Plaintiff, Gentlemen, you have heard, is the Rev. Cornelius O'Mullan; he is a clergyman of the church of Rome, and became invested with that venerable appellation, so far back as September, 1804. It is a title which you know, in this country, no rank ennobles, no treasure enriches, no establishment supports; its possessor stands undisguised by any rag of this world's decoration, resting all temporal, all eternal hope upon his toil, his talents, his attainments, and his piety-doubtless, after all, the highest honours, as well as the most imperishable treasures of the man of God. Year after year passed over my client, and each anniversary only gave him an additional title to these qualifications. His precept was but the handmaid to his practice; the sceptic heard him, and was convinced ; the ignorant attended him, and were taught; he smoothed the death-bed of too heedless wealth; he rocked the cradle of the infant charity; oh, no wonder he walked in the sunshine of the public eye, no wonder he toiled through the pressure of the public benediction. This is not an idle declamation; such was the result his ministry produced, that within five years from the date of its commencement, nearly 2000l. of voluntary subscription enlarged the temple where such precepts were taught, and such piety exemplified. Such was the situation of Mr. O'Mullan, when a dissolution of parliament took place, and an unexpected contest for the representation of Derry, threw that county into unusual commotion. One of the candidates was of the Ponsonby family-a family devoted to the interests, and dear to the heart of Ireland; he naturally thought that his parliamentary conduct entitled him to the vote of every Catholic in the land; and so it did, not only of every Catholic but of every Christian who preferred the diffusion of the Gospel to the ascendancy of a sect, and loved the principles of the constitution better than the pretensions of a party. Perhaps you will think with me, that there is a sort of
posthumous interest thrown about that event, when I tell you, that the candidate on that occasion was the lamented Hero over whose tomb the tears, not only of Ireland, but of Europe, have been so lately shed; he who, mid the blossoms of the world's chivalry, died conquering a deathless name upon the field of Waterloo. He applied to Mr. O'Mullan for his interest, and that interest was cheerfully given, the concurrence of his bishop having been previously obtained. Mr. Ponsonby succeeded; and a dinner, to which all parties were invited, and from which all party spirit was expected to absent itself, was given to commemorate one common triumph-the purity and the privileges of election. In other countries, such an expectation might be natural; the exercise of a noble constitutional privilege, the triumph of a great popular cause, might not unaptly expand itself in the intercourse of the board, and unite all hearts in the natural bond of festive commemoration. But, alas, Gentlemen, in this unhappy land, such has been the result, whether of our faults, our follies, or our misfortunes, that a detestable disunion converts the very balm of the bowl into poison, commissioning its vile and happy offspring, to turn even our festivity into famine. My client was at this dinner; it was not to be endured that a Catholic should pollute with his presence the civic festivities of the loyal Londonderry! such an intrusion, even the acknowledged sanctity of his character could not excuse ; it became necessary to insult him. There is a toast, which, perhaps, few in this united country are in the habit of hearing, but it is the invariable watchword of the Orange orgies ; it is briefly entitled “The
; glorious, pious, and immortal memory of the great and good King William.” I have no doubt the simplicity of your understandings is puzzled how to discover any offence in the commemoration of the Revolution Hero. The loyalists of Derry are more wise in their generation. There, when some Bacchanalian bigots wish to avert the intrusive visitations of their own memory, they commence by violating the memory of King William.* Those
This loyal toast, handed down by Orange tradition, is literally as follows,we give it for the edification of the sister island.
" The glorious, pious, and immortal memory of the great and good King William, who saved us from Pope and Popery, James and slavery, brass money and wooden shoes; here is bad luck to the Pope, and a hempen rope to all Papists—."
It is drank kneeling, if they cannot stand, nine times nine, amid various mys. teries which none but the elect can comprehend.
who happen to have shoes or silver in their fraternity-no very usual occurrence—thank His Majesty that the shoes are not wooden, and that the silver is not brass, a commodity, by the bye, of which any legacy would have been quite superfluous. The Pope comes in for a pious benediction; and the toast concludes with a patriotic wish, for all his persuasion, by the consummation of which there can be no doubt, the hempen manufactures of this country would experience a very considerable consumption. Such, Gentlemen, is the enlightened, and liberal, and social sentiment of which the first sentence, all that is usually given, forms the suggestion. I must not omit that it is generally taken standing, always providing it be in the power of the company. This toast was pointedly given to insult Mr. O'Mullan. Naturally averse to any altercation, his most obvious course was to quit the company, and this he did immediately. He was, however, as immediately recalled by an intimation, that the Catholic question, and might its claims be considered justly and liberally, had been toasted as a peace-offering by Sir George Hill, the City Recorder. My client had no gall in his disposition; he at once clasped to his heart the friendly overture, and in such phrase as his simplicity supplied, poured forth the gratitude of that heart to the liberal Recorder. Poor O'Mullan had the wisdom to imagine that the politician's compliment was the man's conviction, and that a table toast was the certain prelude to a parliamentary suffrage. Despising all experience, he applied the adage, Cælum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt, to the Irish patriot. I need not paint to you the consternation of Sir George, at sc unusual and so unparliamentary a construction. He indignantly disclaimed the intention imputed to him, denied and deprecated the unfashionable inference, and acting on the broad scale of an impartial policy, gave to one party the weight of his vote, and to the other, the (no doubt in his opinion) equally valuable acquisition of his eloquence; by the way, no unusual compromise amongst modern politicians.
The proceedings of this dinner soon became public. Sir George you may be sure, was little in love with his notoriety. However, Gentlemen, the sufferings of the powerful are seldom without sympathy; if they receive not the solace of the disinterested and the sincere, they are at least sure to find a substitute in the miserable professions of an interested hypocrisy. Who could ima.