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know necessi people or fastidia
right millions should be drained annually from the soil of Ireland by those whose tastes are too fastidious to permit them to spend one hour among the people who labour to supply their extravagance or their necessities; they say by the evidence of their senses they know the value of a resident peerage and gentry by the happy results which flow from such residence wherever it exists; they see their aristocracy absentees—the mischief daily and hourly increasing; they think, perchance, a native Parliament would induce them to return : therefore, of the Union they demand a Repeal. Are they conspirators because they do so ? They know, and true it is, that the beauties of Ireland, if now she has any, are not sufficient to induce her nobility or her gentry to reside. What are her rare beauties compared with the fascinations of the Imperial Senate, or the glittering splendour of a Court? Patriotism is a homely virtue, and can scarce thrive by.absence, by an education, by a residence, by tastes, by feelings, by associations which teach Irishmen a dislike, not unmingled with disdain, for their native country. They see and believe that wealth is hourly diminishing in the country; before them they think there is a gloomy pro. spect and little hope. They look to their stately metropolis; they see what a quick and sensitive people cannot shut their eyes to—the houses of their nobility converted into boardingschools or barracks, their Stamp Office abolished, their Linen Hall waste, their Exchange silent, their University deserted, their Custom House almost a poor-house, and, not long since they read a debate, got up by the Economists, as to the prudence of removing the broken-down Irish pensioners from Kilmainham to Chelsea, to effect a little saving, -careless of the feelings, the associations, the joys or the sorrows of the poor old Irish soldiers who had bravely served their country. That cruelty was prevented by the exhibition of something like national spirit and national indignation. They see the expenditure of every shilling withdrawn from the poorer to the richer country, on the ground of the application of the hard rules of political economy, or the unbending principles of Imperial centralization. They behold the Senate House of Ireland—the Union has improved it into a bank. That magnificent structure within whose walls the voice of eloquence was heard, stands a monument of past greatness and present degradation. The glorious labours of our gifted countrymen within those walls are not forgotten; the works of the understanding do not quickly perish. The verses of Homer have lived for
twenty-five hundred years and more without the loss of a syllable or letter, while cities, and temples, and palaces have fallen. The eloquence of Greece tells of the genius of her sons and the freedom it produced, and we forget her ruin in the recollection of her greatness; nor can we read, even now, without emotion, the exalted sentiments of her inspired sons, poured forth in exquisite language to save the expiring liberties of their country. Perhaps their genius had a resurrectionary power, and in later days quickened a degenerate posterity from the lethargy of slavery to the activity of freedom. We too, in better times, have had amongst us men who approached the greatness of antiquity; the imperishable records of their eloquence may keep alive in our hearts a zeal for freedom, and a love of country. The comprehensive genius of Flood, the more than mortal energy of Grattan, the splendour of Bushe, the wisdom of Saurin, the learning of Ball, the noble simplicity of Burrowes, the Demosthenic fire of Plunket, and the eloquence of Curran rushing from the heart, which will sound in the ears of his countrymen for ever. They failed to save the ancient constitution of Ireland; wit, learning, eloquence, genius lost their power over the souls of men. With a great exception, these our distinguished countrymen have passed away, but their meniorials cannot perish with them; while the language lasts their eloquence lives, and their names will be remembered by a grateful posterity, while genius is honoured or patriotism revered. Lastly, on the subject of the Union, the people say, The Imperial Parliament has not attended to their peculiar wants, nor redressed their peculiar grievances. Our character, say they, has been misunderstood, and sometimes slandered; our faults have been magnified into vices, and the crimes of a few have been visited on the Nation. The Irish, the mere Irish, have been derided as creatures of impulse, without settled understandings, or reasoning power, or moral sense. They have their faults, I grieve to say it ; but their faults are redeemed by splendid virtues, their sympathies are warm, their affections are generous, their hearts are brave. They have rushed into this agitation with ardour; it is their nature, when they feel strongly, to act boldly, to speak passionately. Ascribe their excesses to enthusiasm, and forgive. Recollect that same enthusiasm has borne them triumphant over fields of peril and glory, impelled them to shed their dearest blood and spend their gallant lives in defence of the liberties of England. The broken chivalry of France
# Lord Plunket.
attests the value of that fiery enthusiasm, and marks its power. Nor is their high spirit useful only in the storm of battle; in the hours of adversity it cheers their almost broken hearts, lightens their load of misery, well-nigh insupportable, sweetens that bitter cup of poverty which thousands of our countrymen are doomed to drink. What is there truly great which enthusiasm has not won for man The glorious works of art, the immortal productions of the understanding, the incredible labour of heroes and patriots for the salvation of the liberties of mankind, have been promoted by enthusiasm, and by little else. Cold and dull were our existence here below unless the deep passion of the soul, stirred by enthusiasm, were sometimes summoned into action for great and noble purposes-the overwhelming of vice, wickedness, and tyranny—the securing and spreading the world's virtue, the world's happiness, the world's freedom. The hand of Omnipotence, by whose touch this island started into existence, amidst the waters which surround it, stamped upon its people noble qualities of the intellect and heart. Directed to the wise purposes for which Heaven designed them, they will yet redeem, regenerate, and exalt this country.”
The effect of this peroration was electrical. The audience were completely carried away by the rushing torrent of masterly declamation which fell from the impressive advocate, who by this speech leaped far and away as a powerful speaker, before every man at the Irish or any Bar. Shiel's speech dwarfs beside it, pathetic and beautiful as it was, so full of exceeding beauty that as the writer of this memoir reported it, he almost wished he could only listen and drink in its grace and pathos; but the rest of the Counsel-in sporting phrase—were not placed in the running. The object of each was unattained, indeed unattainable with a Jury so arranged. No words however strong, no argument however convincing, could alter the opinions of men determined to convict, and we all know the result. Conviction was a matter of course. Sentence followed upon conviction, and a writ of error was argued in the House of Lords, which quashed the conviction and made the sentence null and void : the Lord Chief Justice of England declaring that a Jury so constituted as this was made trial by Jury in Ireland "a mockery, a delusion, and a snare."
· The result of this very remarkable speech upon Mr. Whiteside's practice may be readily surmised. He was inundated with business. Retainers came in shoals, and he had special fees on almost every Circuit. The writer had the good fortune to be on the Munster Circuit when Whiteside came to Cork, and his drollery, his ready wit, his talent for cross-examination, and his address to the Jury, were all inimitable. The spirit, however, overtaxed the flesh, and the busy toiler soon needed rest and repose. He had to leave his briefs, close his books, turn his back on the Four Courts, and seek in the sunny land of Italy for that health which was denied in his own. He remained away for two years, during which he composed a work entitled, “ Italy in the Nineteenth Century.” It abounds with interesting and amusing descriptions of life and scenery, but as Mr. Whiteside held strong Protestant views, and was bitterly hostile to the creed of Rome, the work, as might be expected, shows his prejudices.
Having resided for about two years in Italy, Mr. Whiteside's health was sufficiently re-established to enable him to return to his profession. The writer was glad to see him energetic as ever, though he looked very thin. The Young Ireland Revolt in 1848 collapsed, and the leaders, Smith O'Brien, Thomas Francis Meagher, and some others were arrested. They were sent for trial by Special Commission, the Judges being the eminent Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench of Ireland, Blackburne, the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Doherty, and Judge Moore. The Commission was opened at Clonmel in September, 1848. The prosecutions conducted by the AttorneyGeneral (Monahan), the Solicitor-General (Hatchell), and other Counsel. Mr. Whiteside, Q.C., was for the defence, and his speech on behalf of Mr. Smith O'Brien and T. F. Meagher was singularly able. It was, of course, what is termed an up-hill case; the facts could not be denied; the prisoners' conduct scarcely admitted of question; and all that could be addressed to the Jury was to try and show that the intention of the prisoners was not to make war, but to make their escape from arrest. Mr. Whiteside, of course, relied on the character of Mr. Smith O'Brien from his infancy, and as he directed attention to his noble house, the virtue of his aged mother, the attachment of his amiable wife, and attached children, he spoke in such pathetic tones that no wonder the strong spirit of the accused bowed, and torrents of tears relieved the agonised heart. They did not fall alone ; few heard the address unmoved, and the sobbing of the auditory told how the orator's words touched the hearers' hearts.
We quote a few passages of his address to the Jury for Mr. Smith O'Brien :
“ The boast of British Law is that it abhors the shedding of human blood. Yield to its benign principles-to the generous impulses of your nature—and stand between the prisoner and his grave. Review his life. From his mother's breast he drank in love of country; from a father's patriotic example the passion grew to a dangerous height. He has indulged perhaps in visions, to the peril of his life, that Ireland might be a Nation, and you her guides to wealth and greatness. In his childhood, he heard that the union with England was carried by corruption. He heard it from an Irish Senator, whom money could not purchase—whom title could not bribe—who gave his honest vote, and would freely give his life to save the perishing Constitution of his country. That father recounted to my client what Plunket, Bushe, and Grattan spoke on the last memorable night of our national existence—how he had been persuaded by the gravity of their arguments, transported by their eloquence, and borne away by their patriotic ardour. His youthful imagination, fired by a sense of Ireland's wrongs, dwelt on the days when we had a gentry and a Senate with intense constancy, and the passion grew that he might restore a Parliament to the land he loved. His true offence is that he courted for you what is England's glory and blessing and pride. Deeply he may have erred in pursuit of this darling object. Will you avenge his misdirected patriotism by a dreadful death? You may do so, and no earthly inducement will tempt me to say, if you pronounce the awful verdict of guilty, that you have not given