« ForrigeFortsæt »
suffered to appear in the streets. A strange instance, at once, of the meanness and impudence of that faction, and of the extent to which injustice had heretofore degraded the government of this hapless country. Mr. Knox accused my brother of an abuse of confidence, in trusting me with the order for my enlargement, without restraining me from such an open act of defiance as that of appearing in the streets. I confess, that much as I had seen, and much as I had heard, and much as I had felt, I was not without astonishment at such pertenacious extravagance. But so it is, that when men have been for a length of time actuated by party spirit, still more by terror, which entirely takes away the understanding, they no longer perceive what is right or what is wrong; what is decent or what is unbecoming. And in this abandonment of their judgment, and even of their senses, they rally to the first absurdity that wears the colour of their prejudices ; and when it comes to that, it is as great madness on the other side to expect any thing from reason. The only remedy then to be hoped is, from time that tries all opinions. My brother told me, that it was desired by his friend, that I should write to excuse myself for having been seen in the streets; and, as he had every title to my compliance that an affectionate brother and a sincere friend could have, I acquiesced without hesitation in the following manner, as nearly as I can remember: I mentioned, that it was in consequence of an order to come out of prison, that I appeared in the streets; there being no other way of coming out of
prison than through the streets; and that it was the more necessary, as having engaged to go immediately abroad, I was obliged to provide myself instantly with what was necessary for my departure. That I was sure the government was powerful enough to guarantee its own order ; but if it were otherwise, and that it would condescend to accept of my support, which I had now the honor of offering for the first time, I would defend the agreement it had made with me, and the order given for my liberation, with both my hands, against whoever should dare to stop me; and that, without the government having the trouble of interfering in the least. I do not know whether this note was pleasing or otherwise, but I heard no more of the matter ; and, by my brother's desire, I seldom went out afterwards but in a carriage, and that towards dinner hour, although I was at liberty for near two months, during which time I made, as you will see, four unsuccessful attempts, to leave my enemies behind me. • It is incredible how much I suffered during the greatest part of the months of Oct. and Nov. Four different times I went to sea, and was as often driven back by furious gales of wind into the same harbor. The vessel was very small, and deeply laden. In the cabin I could not be upright, and on the deck it was always wet. This, with the sea-sickness, and my habitual ill-health, brought me back, each time, to my family, more like a spectre than a living man. At length I was utterly unable to proceed: and it was, but not without much harshness, agreed that I
should wait a few days for another vessel going out in ballast to Oporto. This was a brig called the Lovely Mary. The Lovely Peggy went the fifth time without me, and was captured by the Spaniards.
During all this season the weather was so tempestuous, that our coasts were covered with wrecks.
There was an interval of some days between the quitting of the Peggy, and embarking in the Mary, that I spent in peace in the bosom of my family.But the genius of persecution could not tolerate this: and the town-major, Mr. Sirr, was sent by Lord Castlereagh to inform me, that I must go back to bridewell. The vessel was at this time ready and only waiting for a wind. At the moment that this officer entered, armed with a case of pistols and a dagger stuck in his girdle, I was in the act of making up my trunks to embark. My wife was lending her assistance, and my children were playing on the floor.This Major Sirr* is a gentleman by no means celebrated for delicacy or gentleness in the city from which he derives his office. But I will do him the justice to say, that on this occasion he seemed to have some feelings of compunction for the mission he was charged with. He consented, and even proposed to wait until I should write to the Castle, and state that I was already preparing to go on board the ship. It was necessary to send twice, the person to whom
* For a better account of him, see Mr. Curran's speech on the trial of Hevey: he is now High Sheriff of the city of Dublin !!!
my first letter was addressed being absent: and all that time he remained standing in a window, as, for some reason or other, he refused to sit down. An answer came directed to him from Lord Castlereagh, and he only asked me to pledge my word that I would go on board that evening, and took his leave.
I accordingly went to live on board this vessel, but the wind continued unfavorable, and the weather so tempestuous, that several ships were driven ashore, even in the harbour. During this time I had no other means of conversing with my wife, than by stealing up at night, and returning before day-light on board: and this not without risque, as one night a man was assassinated by the military on the road where I had to pass. Such was the proceeding of that government which was “so unwilling to resort to painful steps !"
At length, on the 24th October, as well as I can recollect, the captain was ordered, against his will, to sea, and on the 27th we were stranded on the coast of North Wales, on the extreme point of Car-, narvonshire, near the small port of Pullhelly.
Having got so far, give me leave again to pause, that you may have some time to repose, and I be the better able to resume my story,
Ancient Britons--Duke of Portland.
BY a curious whim of fortune, the soil on which I was now to look for hospitality, was the identical country of those ancient Britons' who had been made the blind instruments of so many crimes against the Irish, and which they finally expiated with their lives. They had been taken from their mountains and their ploughs, and enflamed by every artifice against their unfortunatė fellow-subjects in Ireland, with whom they could possibly have no quarrel, For it is worthy of note, that besides the faction in our own country, the principal part of those employed in making war upon the Irish, were the mountaineers of Scotland and Wales, and also Hessians; who, not knowing the English language, nor the ancient language still spoken by many of the Irish, were inaccessible to all remonstrance and less liable to be softened by complaint, or enlightened by expostulation, or in any way made sensible of the cruelties they were committing. Perhaps, also, their