Imatges de pÓgina

name of Ellis—you see him carrying the same name into the depôt, not wishing to avow his own until the achievement of the enterprise would crown it with some additional éclat.

“ The first witness, Fleming, appears in the character of a person who was privy to the conspiracy-he was acquainted with the depôt from the moment it was first taken-he had access to it and co-operated in the design-he was taken upon suspicion--and under these circumstances he makes the disclosure. If the case of the prosecution rested upon the evidence of this man alone, though an accomplice in the crime, it would be sufficient evidence to go to you for your consideration, upon which you would either acquit the prisoner or find him guilty. In general, from the nature of the crime of treason, from the secrecy with which it is hatched and conducted, it frequently happens that no other evidence can be resorted to but that of accomplices; and therefore, notwithstanding the crimes of such witnesses, their evidence is admissible to a jury. But, doubt

ss, every honest and considerate jury, whether in a case of life or not, will scrupulously weigh such evidence. If it be consistent with itself, disclosing a fair and candid account, and is not impeached by contradictory testimony, it is sufficient to sustain a verdict of guilt.

“But, gentlemen, I take up your time unnecessarily in dwelling upon this topic, which I introduced rather in justification of the principles which regulate such evidence, than as attaching any particular weight to it in the present instance; because, if you blot it altogether from your minds, you have then the testimony of two other persons not tainted with the conspiracy-one of them brought in while in a state of intoxication, and the other taken by surprise when he was watching at the door-in every respect corroborating the testimony of Fleming, and substantiating the guilt of the prisoner. You heard the kind of implements which were prepared, their account of the command assumed by the prisoner, living an entire week in the depôt, animating his workmen, and hastening them to the conclusion of their business. When the hour of action arrived, you see him dressed in military array, putting himself at the head of the troops who had been shut up with him in this asylum, and advancing with his party, armed for the capture of the Castle, and the destruction of his fellowcitizens !

“Gentlemen of the jury, what was the part which the prisoner took in that night of horror, I will not attempt to insinuate to you; I hope and trust in God, for the sake of himself-his fame-his eternal welfare —that he was incapable of being a party to the barbarities which were committed; I do not mean to insinuate that he was, but that he headed this troop, and was present while some shots were fired, has been proved by uncontroverted testimony. At what time he quitted them-whether from prudence, despair, or disgust he retired from their bands—is not proved by evidence upon the table; but from the moment of the discomfiture of his project, we find him again concealed. We trace him with the badges of rebellion glittering upon his person, attended by the two other consuls, Quigley, the bricklayer, and Dowdall,

the clerk,-whether for concealment, or to stimulate the wretched peasantry to other acts of insurrection, you will determine. We first trace him to Doyle's, and then to Bagnall's; one identifies him, the other, from her fears, incapable of doing so; but the same party, in the same uniforms, go to her house, until the apprehension of detection drove them from her. When could no longer find shelter in the mountains, nor stir up the inhabitants of them, he again retires to his former obscure lodging, the name of Ellis is abandoned, the regimental coat is abandoned, and again he assumes the name of Hewitt. What is his conduct in this concealment? He betrays his apprehensions of being taken up by government, for what? Has any explanation been given to shew what it could be, unless for rebellion? There he plans a mode of escape, refusing to put his name upon the door. You find him taken a reluctant prisoner, twice attempting to escape, and only brought within the reach of the law by force and violence. What do you find then ? Has he been affecting to disguise his object, or that his plan was less dignified than his motive that of treason? No such thing. He tells young Palmer that he was in Thomas-street that night, he confesses the treason, he boasts of his uniform, part of which was upon


person when he was taken ; he acknowledges all this to the young man in the house a witness, permit me to remark, not carried away by any excess of over-zeal to say any thing to the injury of the prisoner, and therefore to his testimony, so far as it affects the prisoner, you may with a safe conscience afford a reasonable degree of credit.

6 Under what circumstances is he taken? In the room in which he was, upon a chair near the door, is found an address to the government. of the country, and in the very first paragraph of that address the composer of it acknowledges himself to be at the head of a conspiracy for the overthrow of the government which he addresses, telling them, in diplomatic language, what conduct the undersigned will be compelled to adopt, if they shall presume to execute the law. He is the leader, whose nod is a Fiat, and he warns them of the consequences !

“Gentlemen of the jury, you will decide whether the prisoner at the bar or Mrs. Palmer was the person who denounced those terms, and this vengeance against the government. What is found


him? A letter written by a brother conspirator, consulting him upon the present posture of the rebellion, their future prospects, and the probability of French assistance, and also the probable effects of that assistance, if it should arrive. What further is found ?

At the depôtand every thing found there, whether coming out of the desk which he appears to have used and resorted to, or in any other part of the place which he commanded, is evidence against him—you find a treatise upon the art of war, framed for the purpose of drilling the party who were employed to effect this rebellion ; but of war they have proved that they are incapable of knowing any thing but its ferocities and its crimes. You find two proclamations, detailing systematically and precisely the views and objects of this conspiracy, and you find a manuscript copy of one of them, with interlineations and other marks of its

being an original draft. It will be for you to consider who was the framer of it—the man who presided at the depôt, and regulated all the proceedings there, or whether it was formed by Dowdall the clerk, by Quigley the bricklayer, or by Stafford the baker, or any of the illiterate victims of the ambition of this young man, who have been convicted in this court, or whether it did not flow from his pen, and was dictated by his heart ?

“Gentlemen, with regard to this mass of accumulated evidence, forming irrefragable proof of the guilt of the prisoner, I conceive no man capable of putting together two ideas can have a doubt. Why, then, do I address you, or why should I trespass any longer upon your time and your attention ? Because, as I have already mentioned, I feel this to be a case of great public expectation, of the very last national importance; and because, when I am prosecuting a man in whose veins the life's blood of this conspiracy flowed, I expose to the public eye the utter meanness and insufficiency of its resources. What does it ayow itself to be? A plan-not to correet the excesses, or reform the abuses of the government of the country; not to remove any specks or imperfections which might have grown upon the surface of the constitution, or to restrain the overgrown power of the crown, or to restore any privilege to Parliament, or to throw any new security around the liberty of the subject. No. But it plainly and boldly avows itself to be a plan to separate Great Britain from Ireland, uproot the monarchy, and establish a free and independent republic in Ireland' in its place! To sever the connection between Great Britain and Ireland ! Gentlemen, I should feel it a waste of words and of public time, were I to address you or any person within the limits of my voice-were I to talk of the frantic desperation of the plan of any man who speculates upon the dissolution of that empire whose glory and whose happiness depends upon its indissoluble connection. But were it practicable to sever that connection, to untie the links which bind us to the British constitution, and to turn us adrift upon the turbulent ocean of revolution, who could answer for the existence of this country, as an independent country, for a year? God and nature have made the two countries essential to each other; let them cling to each other to the end of time, and their united affection and loyalty will be proof against the machinations of the world.

“ But how was this to be done? By establishing “a free and independent republic !' High-sounding name! I would ask, whether the man who used them understood what he meant? I will not ask what may be its benefits, for I know its evils. There is no magic in the

We have heard of “free and independent republics, and have since seen the most abject slavery that ever groaned under iron despotism growing out of them.

"Formerly, gentlemen of the jury, we have seen revolutions effected by some great call of the people, ripe for change

and unfitted by their habits for ancient forms; but here, from the obscurity of concealment

, and by the voice of that pigmy authority, self-created, and fearing to shew itself but in arms under cover of the night, we are called upon


to surrender a constitution which has lasted for a period of one thousand years. Has any body of the people come forward, stating any grievance or announcing their demand for a change? No. But while the country is peaceful, enjoying the blessings of the constitution, growing rich and happy under it, a few desperate, obscure, contemptible adventurers in the trade of revolution form a scheme against the constituted authorities of the land, and by force and violence to overthrow an ancient and venerable constitution, and to plunge a whole people into the horrors of civil war!

If the wisest head that ever lived had framed the wisest system of laws which human ingenuity could devise if he were satisfied that the system was exactly fitted to the disposition of the people for whom he intended it, and that a great proportion of that people were anxious for its adoption, yet give me leave to say, that under all these circumstances of fitness and disposition, a well-judging mind and a humane heart would pause awhile and stop upon the brink of his purpose, before he would hazard the peace of the country, by resorting to force for the establishment of his system ; but here, in the phrenzy of distempered ambition, the author of the proclamation conceives the project of a free and independent republic,' --he at once flings it down, and he tells every man in the community, rich or poor, loyal or disloyal, he must adopt it at the peril of being considered an enemy to the country, and of suffering the pains and penalties attendant thereupon.

“And how was this revolution to be effected ? The proclamation conveys an insinuation that it was to be effected by their own force, entirely independent of foreign assistance. Why? Because it was well known that there remained in this country few so depraved, so lost to the welfare of their native land, that would not shudder at forming an alliance with France, and therefore the people of Ireland are told, the effort is to be entirely your own, independent of foreign aid. But how does this tally with the time when the scheme was first hatched-the very period of the commencement of the war with France ? How does this tally with the fact of consulting in the depôt about co-operating with the French, which has been proved in évidence? But, gentlemen, out of the proclamation I convict him of duplicity. He tells the government of the country not to resist their mandate, or think that they can effectually suppress rebellion by putting down the present attempt, but that they will have to crush a greater exertion, rendered still greater by foreign assistance;' so that upon the face of the proclamation they avowed, in its naked deformity, the abominable plan of an alliance with the usurper of the French throne, to overturn the ancient constitution of the land, and to substitute a new republic in its place.

“Gentlemen, so far I have taken up your time with observing upon the nature and extent of the conspiracy, its objects, and the means by which they proposed to effectuate them. Let me now call your attention to the pretexts by which they seek to support them. They have not stated what particular grievance or oppression is complained ofbut they have travelled back into the history of six centuries, they have raked up the ashes of former cruelties and rebellions, and upon the memory of them they call upon the good people of this country to embark into similar troubles ; but they forget to tell the people that until the infection of new-fangled French principles was introduced, this country was for one hundred years free from the slightest symptom of rebellion, advancing in improvement of every kind beyond any example, while the former animosities of the country were melting down into a general system of philanthropy and cordial attachment to each other. They forget to tell the people whom they address that they have been enjoying the benefit of equal laws, by which the property, the person, and constitutional rights and privileges of every man are abundantly protected; they have not pointed out a single instance of oppression. Give me leave to ask any man who may have suffered himself to be deluded by those enemies of the law, what is there to prevent the exercise of honest industry and enjoying the produce of it? Does any man presume to invade him in the enjoyment of his property? If he does, is not the punishment of the law brought down upon him? What does he want? What is it that


rational friend to freedom could expect, that the people of this country are not fully and amply in the possession of? And therefore, when those idle stories are told of six hundred years' oppression, and of rebellions prevailing when this country was in a state of ignorance and barbarism, and which have long since passed away, they are utterly destitute of a fact to rest upon, they are a fraud upon feeling, and are the pretext of the factious and ambitious working upon credulity and ignorance.

“Let me allude to another topic: They call for revenge on account of the removal of the Parliament. Those men who, in 1798, endeavoured to destroy the Parliament, now call upon the loyal men, who opposed its transfer, to join them in rebellion--an appeal vain and fruitless. Look around and see with what zeal and loyalty they rallied round the throne and constitution of the country. Whatever might have been the difference of opinion heretofore among

Irishmen upon some points, when armed rebels appear against the laws and public peace, every minor difference is annihilated in the paramount claim of duty to our king and country.

“So much, gentlemen, for the nature of this conspiracy, and the pretexts upon which it rests. Suffer me for a moment to call your attention to one or two of the edicts published by the conspirators

, They have denounced, that if a single Trish soldieror in more faithful description, Irish rebel-shall lose his life after the battle is over, quarter is neither to be given or taken. Observe the equality of the reasoning of these promulgers of liberty and equality. The distinction is this : English troops are permitted to arm in defence of the government and the constitution of the country, and to maintain their allegiancebut if an Irish soldier, yeoman, or other loyal person, shall not, within the space of fourteen days from the date and issuing forth of their sovereign proclamation, appear in arms with them—if he presumes to obey the dictates of his

conscience, his duty, and his


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