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" Mr. IIOLMES said it was so laid down in a case in 4th Term Reporis,and in Archbold's Criminal Practice, title “Sedition.'
“ Mr. Justice Vandeleur adhered to his opinion that it was enough to prove che substance; lest there should be any misconception, however, and that all parties might be satisfied, he would have the jury called out of their chamber again.
The jury accordingly came into court, and * MR. JUSTICE VANDELEUR said-Gentlemer., as there appears to be some misunderstanding with respect to what I stated to you, I think it proper now to bay that it is not necessary that the words in the indictment should be literally proved; but it is necessary that words in substance and meaning the same should be proved.
“ The jury now retired again to their chamber. They returned to court about half-past six o'clock, with THE BILLS IGNORED
SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 1825.
LETTER was read from Loughrea on the subject of the numerous false alarms of plots &c., which were then rife throughout Ireland.
Mr. O'CONNELL said that the letter related to a portion of those strange conspiracies that have agitated the public mind, and disturbed the country for some time past.
They burst upon the public simultaneously, though in different directions, and were somewhat of the nature of the late famous Loughrea discovery, where, with the aid of one of the Orange dignitaries, a pensioner of the government fabricated a story of having seen and counted sixteen thousand men paraded with fire-arms in field. Loughrea appeared to be the focus of those plots, and, naturally enough, as it is the classical headquarters of the biblical forces. There issued from the post-office of Loughrea, in one day, several hundred letters containing the word “prepare.” The intention was to immediately follow up that process by a search ; and finding several of those letters in the people's houses, would lay grounds for representing the lountry as prepared for rebellion. (Hear.)
In the county of Clare, those letters were also widely circulated ; and notwithstanding the exertions of the police, whom we are to suppose very active in the pursuit, the author or distributor has not been discovered. And so admirably was the system of alarm arranged, that it was communicated to England in the most formidable and authentic form.
vir. M'Donnell has stated publicly, that at a meeting of a fanatical confederac; ia London, entitled “ The Irish Society of Lon
Qon,” the Rev. Hugh M`Neill, son-in-law of his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, addressed the assembly, and among a variety of other statements, equally accurate, assured his hearers that “Catholic priests of Ireland were, at that very time, actually engaged in placarding Pastorini's Prophecies in every quarter of that country, in order to excite the peasantry to deluge it with Protestant blood.” “I endeavoured,” says Mr. M ́Donnell, “ to obtain permission to reply to this unfounded representation, but was told by the right reverend chairman, that, although the meeting was certainly convened for discussion, yet he could not hear any person that was not appointed to speak by the committee of the society.'
" However, when the meeting dispersed, I went up accompanied by another gentleman to Mr. M`Neill, and, adverting to what he had said, I observed how unjust it was to make such charges if they were not well-founded; I told him that, if instead of all Ireland and all the priests, he would name any one place in which he saw them placarded by such persons, or any one priest who placarded them, I should admit his whole charge. He distinctly admitted that he could not do either the one or the other, but added, 'Well, if they don't do it publicly, they circulate them. privately, and that is worse.'
I rejoined, that it was a strange mode of proving that a thing was done publicly, by asserting that it was done privately, and requested the reverend gentleman to simplify the matter, by naming any one Catholic clergyman who circulated a singlo number of the work, either publicly or privately. He did not attempt to do so, but said, “Well! all I know about it is, that I got five or six copies from -the Archbishop of Dublin !'
“I assured him I should not trouble him with another word on the subject, as no one could mistake how the facts really stood after that admission.”
Mr. O'Connell, in continuation, observed, that being excellent Christians, all manner of calumnies were permitted to be indulged in, against the Catholic clergy, but no one was to be permitted to refute them. (Hear; hear.) Is it not cruel (said the learned gentleman) that a person like the Rev. Mr. M`Neill, who must have received the education of a gentleman, associated with those moral instructions necessary to qualify him for being a minister of the Gospel, could bring himself to give utterance to such calumnies against a fellow-labourer in the vineyard of Christ ? Was it that he could not have learned the commandment which forbids his “ bearing falou witness against his neighbour?"
(Chars.) How fitted for preaching and lasting vne minister who travels three bundred miles to calumniate the Catholic priesthood by false testimony! To be sure, the reverend gentleman's father-in-law, Doctor Magee, had declared that this calumniated priesthood had a church, but no religion ; but he (Mr. O'Connell) thanked his God, they had a religion that would not allow them to utter false charges or calumnies, even against their enemies. (Loud applause.)
Mr. M ́Donnell's letter has been before the public for many days, and neither Mr. M'Neill nor the archbishop have contradicted it. One is not surprised at the malignant hostility of vulgar, lowly, uninformed bigots ; but there is something so unnatural and revolting in a prelate having recourse to the artifices of calumny, to overcome those whom his prejudices make hateful to him. And then we see him write himself down “ poor, persecuted man,” and console himself with the reflection that the Apostles, his predecessors, were also poor and persecuted; but when did we ever hear of one of the Apostles being perseeuted by the offer of twenty-seven thousand pounds for renewal or leases ! (Great laughter.)
As the propagators of alarm saw there was no chance of the Catholics confirming, by any conduct of theirs, the villanous fabrication of a Catholic insurrection, they were resolved to set up something of their own making, and accordingly, on Christmas morning, as the poor people of the neighbourhood of Powers court were proceeding to midnight mass, according to the custom of the church, to celebrate the festival of Christmas-day, by ushering it in with the celebration of religious service and the mass, a number of Orangemen assembled, and fired a volley over the poor peoples' heads, in order to make them pass under the yoke to their place of religious worship. The women anci children were naturally terrified first, but were not, however, prevented from pursuing their course, as after the first effects of the sudden salutation, the firing had little terror for them, for even our women are accustomed to this violence of the Orangemen. (Hear.)
And what must be the state of Irish society, when such doings are permitted to go unpunished or without being inquired into. But nothing could be too monstrous for those authors of discomfited plots, who betray a refinement in knavery astonishing to all, but those instigated by the same demoniacal feelings and principles.
A recent act of theire would have had a ludicrousness about it
if there were not a sad certainty that it had effect in England to our prejudice. A Scotchman, who lately embarked in a salmon fishery in this country, had some time since advertised iu The Evening Mail and other papers, for a supply of ash-poles, which he required for the purpose of setting as stakes for nets; and after the Scotchman, who, although like the rest of his nation, being shrewd was also honest, had paid his account, the Mail published an apology to its readers for having given insertion to the advertisement for the poles, as they understood they were intended for pike-handles. (Laughter, and hear.)
After several other observations, the learned gentleman gave notice for moving an address to his Excellency, and a petition to parliament on the subject of recent alarms.
THE RECENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MR. O'CONNELL. MR. SHEIL said, the prosecution of Mr. O'Connell and the issue of the legal enterprise, in which the provincial governo 14 of Ireland ad so fantastically adventured, called for an intimation of our sentiments.
I rise to propose the first of a series of resolutions which I have drawn up with a view to suggest the feelings of the Irish people, rather than give them their full expression. I move the following resolution :
RESOLVED—" That the prosecution of Mr. O'Connell has excited the amazement of the English public, and is calculated to awaken a stronger feeling than one of mere astonishment in the people of Ireland.”—(Hear, hear, hear.)
Mr. Sheil delivered a long and strikingly eloquent speech, after which
Mr. O'Connell rose, amidst such astounding acclamations and applause, cheers, and waving of hats, which continued for nearly ten minutes, as description would convey a very imperfect idea of.
After silence had been restored, the learned gentleman addressed the chairDan as follows:
Sir,—It is impossible for me to remain silent or indifferent to the manner and matter of the resolutions just passed; but I am literally placed in a predicament in which, feeling I have wuch to say, I fear my inability to do all that I ought.
There are, indeed, sensations that we possess no faculties to give utterance to ; but I beg this may be believed, that what-ever event may involve myself, I wish it may be useful to the people of Ireland, and if perjury had branded sedition on my brows, I would have forgiven the miscreant that occasioned so disastrous a result to me; but it is owing to the kindness of my Catholic, and to the justice of my Protestant countrymen, that I stand acquitted and discharged from that ridiculous accusation.
I have only one apology to make to the people, and it is, for having, as a public man, and one acquainted with the law, submitted to an upconstitutional proceeding, assuming the exercise
of the due course of law. I should not have submitted to an arrest for seditious words, which could only be held to be such by the informer swearing that the intention of the speaker was seditious. I should have insisted on seeing the information, and knowing whether the informer had the audacious baseness to swear so, before I bound myself to appear to the arrest ; but I perceived that the object was not my conviction, but the suppression of the Catholic Association, and I felt that if
man was to be sacrificed for that purpose, I was that man—(applause) -that if any part of our proceedings had been illegal, I should be the person on whom the vengeance of the law ought to fall --because if they had violated any of the principles or forms of the constitution, I was the instrument by which it was effected; and if I have any favour with my Catholic countrymen, I implore them to admit my claim as a right, that I may be at all times the victim, when their liberty or their rights are to be sacrificed upon the altar of persecution.—(Cheers.)
I claim no merit for any exertions in the Catholic cause, but I supplicate my countrymen to award me the first post of suffering. I am, however, consoled by the reflection that this prosecution has evinced a malignant activity to proceed against us ; but I lament that, in this disposition, there is a marked neglect of the consideration and feeling that should have been created by the recollection that we are injured suppliants, long seeking for that justice which no demerit of ours has warranted the withholding of; but I rejoice that this prosecution has demonstrated the legality of our proceedings—has proved that we have kept within the bounds of the constitution, and that our institution is fairly consistent with the existing laws.
Let them attempt to show me any law we have violated, and I will instantly disprove it. No, they cannot do it, and it is not likely that they have neglected to seek the means of establishing such a charge.
Let them show me what breach of the laws of society and good fellowship we have violated ? Have we invaded religion or morality ? Have we interrupted trade, or deranged the commerce of life? In a word, what principle of the law, or the constitution, is at variance with our existence, although it is possible to commit a breach of the one without violating the other, for we have too often seen, that what was declared to be law was subvertive to the constitution.—(Cheers)—but the constitution is the parent of the law, and we could not destroy the parent without commiting an injury on its offspring.