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me now ask you, if any of you had addressed the public ear upon so foul and monstrous a subject, in what language would you have conveyed the feelings of hor, ror and indignation? Would you have stooped to the meanness of qualified complaint? Would you have been mean enough—but I entreat your forgiveness-I do not think meanly of you; had I thought so meanly of you, I could not suffer my mind to commune with you as it has done; had I thought you that base and vile instrument, attuned by hope and by fear into dis. cord and falsehood, from whose vulgar string no groan of suffering could vibrate, no voice of integrity or honor could speak; let me honestly tell you I should have scorned to filing my hand across it, I should have left it to a fitter minstrel; if I do not therefore grossly err in my opinion of you, I could use no language upon such a subject as this, that must not lag behind the rapidity of your feelings, and that would not disgrace those feelings, if it attempted to describe them.
Gentlemen, I am not unconscious that the learned counsel for the crown seemed to address you with a confidence of a very different kind; he seemed to expect a kind and respectful sympathy from you with the feelings of the castle, and the griefs of chided authority. Perhaps, gentlemen, he may know you better than I do; if he do, he has spoken to you as he ought; he has been right in telling you, that if the reprobation of this writer is weak, it is because his genius could not make it stronger; he has been right in telling you that his language has not been braided and festooned as elegantly as it might; that he has not pinched the miserable plaits of his phraseology, nor placed his patches and feathers with that correctness of millinery which became so exalted a person. If you agree with him, gentlemen of the jury, if you think that the man who ventures at the hazard of his own life, to rescue from the deep, “the drowned honour of his country,” must not presume upon the guilty familiarity of plucking it up by the locks, I have no more to say-do a courteous thing_upright and honest jurors, find a civil and
cbliging verdict against the printer !- And when you have done so, march through the ranks of your fellowcitizens to your own homes, and bear their looks as yą pass along: retire to the bosoms of your families and your children, and when you are presiding over the morality of the parental board, tell those infants who are to be the future men of Ireland, the history of this day. Form their young minds by your precepts, and confirm those precepts by your own example; teach them how discreetly allegiance may be perjured on the table, or loyalty be forsworn in the jury-box—and when you have done so, tell them the story of Orr; tell. them of his captivity, of his children, of his hopes, of his disappointments, of his conrage, and of his death; and when you find your little hcarers hanging upon your lips, when you see their eyes overflow with sympathy and sorrow, and their young hearts bursting with the pangs of anticipated orphanage, tell them, that you had the boldness, and the injustice, to stigmatize the man who had dared to publish the transaction !
Merciful God! what is the state of Ireland, and where shall you find the wretched inhabitant of this land? You may find him perhaps in a jail, the only place of security, I had almost said of ordinary habitation; you may see him flying by the conflagration of his own dwelling; or you may find his bones bleaching on the green fields of his country; or he may be found tossing upon the surface of the ocean, and mingling his groans with those tempests, less savage than his persecutors, that drift him to a returnless distance from his family and his home. And yet, with these facts ringing in the ears, and staring in the face of the prosecutor, you are called upon to say, on your oaths, that these facts do not exist! You are called upon, in defiance of shame, of truth, of honor, to deny the sufferings under which you groan, and to flatter the perse. cution which tramples you under foot !
But the learned gentleman is further pleased to say, . that the traverser has charged the government with the encouragement of informers. This, gentlemen, is another small fact that you are to deny at the hazard of your souls, and upon the solemnity of your oaths. You are upon your oaths to say to the sister country, that the government of Ireland uses no such abominable instruments of destruction as informers. Let me ask you honestly, what do you feel, when in my hearing, when in the face of this audience, you are called upon to give a verdict that every man of (is, and every man of you, know by the testimony of your own eyes to be utterly and absolutely false ? I speak not now of the public proclamation of informers, with a promise of secrecy and of extravagant reward; I speak not of the fate of those horrid wretches who have been so often transferred from the table to the dock, and from the dock to the pillory; I speak of what your own eyes have seen day after day during the course of this commission, from the box where you are now sitting; the number of horrid miscreants, who avowed upon their oaths, that they had come from the very seat of government-from the castle where they had been worked upon by the fear of death and the hopes of compensation, to give evidence against their fellows, that the mild and wholesome councils of this government are holden over these catacombs of living death, where the wretch that is buried a man, lies till his heart has time to fester and dissolve, and is then dug up a witness.
Is this fancy, or is it fact? Have you not seen him after his resurrection from that tomb, after having been dug out of the region of death and corruption, make his appearance upon the table, the living image of life and of death, and the supreme arbiter of both ? Have you not marked when he entered, how the stormy wave of the multitude retired at his approach? Have you not marked how the human heart bowed to the supremacy of his power, in the undissembled homage of deferential norror ? How his glance, like the lightning of heaven, semed to rive the body of the accused, and mark it for .
the grave, while his voice warned the devoted wretch of woe and death; a death which no innocence can escape, no art elude, no force resist, no antidote prevent. There was an antidote-a juror's oath—but even that adamantine chain, that bound the integrity of man to the throne of Eternal Justice, is solved and melted in the breath that issues from the informer's mouth-conscience swings from her mooring, and the appalled and affrighted juror, consults his own safety in the surrender of the victim.
ROWAN'S TRIAL. GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY—When I consider the pe. riod at which this prosecution is brought forward; when I behold the extraordinary safeguard of armed soldiers resorted to, no doubt for the preservation of peace and order: when I catch, as I cannot but do, the ihrob of public anxiety, which beats from one end to the other of this hall; when I reflect upon what may be the fate of a man of the most beloved personal character, of one of the most respected families of our country; himself the only individual of that family, I may almost say of that country, who can look to ihat possible fate with unconcern ? Feeling as I do all these impressions, it is in the honest simplicity of my heart I speak, when I say, that I never rose in a court of justice with so much embarrassment, as upon this occasion.
If, gentlemen, I could entertain a hope of finding refuge for the disconcertion of my mind, in the perfect coinposure of yours; if I could suppose that those awful vicissitudes of human events, which have been stated or alluded to, could leave your judgments undisturbed, and your hearts at ease, I know I should form a most erroneous opinion of your character: I entertain no such chimerical hopes; I form no such unworthy opinions ; I expect not !hat your hearts can be more at ease than my own; I have no right to expect it; but I'have a right to call upon you, in the name of your country, in ile name of the living God, of whose eternal justice you are now administering that portion which dwells with us oa this side of the grave, to discharge your breasts, as far as you are able, of every bias of prejudice or passion; that, if my client be guilty of the offence charged upon him, you may give tranquillity to the public by a firm verdict of conviction; or if he be innoceni, by as firm a verdict of acquittal; and that you will do this in defiance of the paltry artifices and senseless clamors that have been resorted lo, in order to bring him to his trial with anticipated conviction.
Gentlemen, the representation of your people is the vital principle of their political existence; without it they are dead, or they live only to servitude ; without it there are two estates acting upon and against the hird, instead of acting in co-operation with it ; without
if the people be oppressed by their judges, where is he tribunal io which their judges can be amenable ? Without it, if they be trampled upon, and plundered by a minister, where is the tribunal to which the offender shall be amenable? Without it, where is the ear to hear, or the heart to feel, or the hand to redress their sufferings ? Shall they be found, let me ask you, in the accursed bands of imps and minions that bask in their disgrace, and fatten upon their spoils, and flourish upon their ruin? But let me not put this to you as a merely speculative question. It is a plain question of fact: rely upon it, physical man is every where the same; it is only the various operation of moral causes that gives variety to the social or individual character and condition. How otherwise happens it, that modern slavery looks quietly at the despot, on the very spot where Leonidas expired? The answer is, Sparta has not changed her climate, but she has lost that government, which her liberty could not survive.
I CALL you, therefore, to the plain question of fact, This paper recommends a reform in parliament; I put