« ForrigeFortsæt »
government; and my own intentions were, to abide faithfully by the agreement I had consented to: so I could not even in imagination, figure to myself the possibility of the disgraceful proceedings which have since taken place: I therefore asked permission to go to Portugal, and this reasonable request was no sooner made than refused. Happily I had a friend whose heart was warm and honest, and whose courage
and firmness in the cause of honor, was well known in his youth, and seemed but to increase with his years. This was Mr. Montgomery, the member for the county of which I was a native. He was an old friend and fellow-soldier of lord Cornwallis, and brother of Montgomery, the hero of Quebec. He took upon him to stem this torrent of persecution; and, after much difficulty, made his way to the viceroy, through the phalanx of lords and bishops that besieged him. He represented to him the dangerous state of my health; the sacred manner in which his honor was pledged to me; the cruel denial of justice or trial; the torture of my servant, and my secret imprisonment. All this he represented with so much effect, that I was immediately favored with the following letter:
To Counsellor Sampson, Bridewel.
LORD CASTLEREAGH presents his compliments to Mr. Sampson. He has the lord lieutenant's directions to acquaint him, that he may go to Portugal, as his health is said to require it, on condition of giving security to remain there during the war, unless ordered away by that government.
I think, my dear friend, I cannot now do better than finish this letter, and give you and myself an opportunity of reposing For though you might suppose the malice of my enemies by this time pretty nearly exhausted, yet you will find on the contrary, that my persecution was but beginning, and you will have need of all your patience to Jisten to the rest. Farewell.
ChicanerLie by Act of Parliament-Lord Castlereagh.
ONE would have hoped, that all difficulty was now
One might have supposed, that rancor itself had been now assuaged. But on the contrary, every artifice of delay, and every refinement of chicanery was again put in practice, as if to torment me in revenge for the justice I had obtained from lord Cornwallis, and the part I had had in rescuing so many victims from the fury of their pursuers. Weeks and months passed away, so great a difficulty was made of drawing up a simple form of recógnisance pursuant to lord Cornwallis' order; a thing so easy, had good faith been intended, that the meanest clerk of an attorney was as capable of doing it, as the first judge of the land. My brother and my brother-inlaw, both fathers of families in remote parts of the country, were all this time detained in the capital, and the reason given for this vexation was, that this famous inStrument was to be a precedent for the cases of all the other
prisoners; and yet a principal part of those prisoners are now, at the distance of four years, in gaol; another instance of that complicated perfidy to which I have been subjected.
At length every trick of malicious petty-fogging exhausted; my family rendered miserable, and my health almost ruined, I received from Mr. Marsden, a law secretary, the following note: “ Mr. Marsden presents his compliments to Mr. Samp
He has been able to arrange finally with lord Castlereagh, the terms which Mr. Sampson must comply with, previous to his sailing.
“Mr. Marsden encloses a form of recognisance, which Mr. Sampson should execute. When that is done, there need be no other delay."
Dublin Castle, October 4, 1798.
With this note was sent a form of security, in which there was nothing remarkable, except the leaving out the words in lord Cornwallis's order, “unless ordered away by that government.”
If so many months had not been spent in planning this formality, namely, from the month of July, when I consented to sign the agreement, until the month of October, when I was told I must comply or stay in prison, I should have thought nothing of this circumstance. Coupled with what has since happened, it seems to warrant the supposition that it was predetermined I should be sent away from Portugal. For I remember it was once given as a reason for breaking faith with the prisoners, that no country would receive them. Much influence, and much intrigue was used to make that barbarous assertion true. And it will be found by my case, that frustrated in that view, no malevolent refinement was spared to pursue us wherever we should take refuge. But let the sequel explain itself.
I made no difficulty in subscribing it as it was ordered, and thereupon I received the following passport:
Dublin Castle, Oct. 6, 1798.
PERMIT William Sampson, Esq. to take his passage from the port of Dublin, to any port in the kingdom of Portugal, without hindrance or molestation.
By order of his excellency the lord lieutenant of Ireland.
To all port-officers, officers commanding
his majesty's ships, and others whom it may concern.
And upon the back was written: «Mr. Sampson is to keep this passport in his possession." This, however, it will be seen, I was not always allowed to do..
And on the same day, an order was sent for my en, largement, addressed to the keeper, with the following letter to my brother, by the private secretary of lord Castlereagh;
I SEND you an order, which I trust to you, though I know not whether the business is done or not. But I know you will not use it until you ought, and then you see by it that your brother goes without either guard or messenger. When there is no need of painful steps, they will not be adopted by a government, which, I
assure you, never wishes to be unnecessarily severe. I wish your brother happiness.
Now it will be for you to judge how very forbearing this government was from painful steps.
A bill was brought forward in parliament stating, or rather insinuating in the preamble that I, with many others therein named, had confessed myself guilty of treason and implored for mercy. With more to that purpose, stated in the most extravagant language, and finally making it felony for any one to correspond with me.
Now, so far from confessing treason, I was ready, had 'my persecutors dared to come to the trial, to have proved treason upon them, and thrown the accusation in their teeth. But they took good care of that, and never would give me the advantage of a trial, nor even an examination, nor any mode of explanation whatever: and, as to imploring their mercy, I would an hundred times sooner have implored for death. Here then was an assertion by act of parliament, of a gross and scandalous lie: but a lie that nobody dared to contradict, for it was a lie by act of parliament; and parliament was omnipotent. And among the many scourges that this parliament had lately inflicted upon its bleeding country, was this: That they took upon them to imprison their fellow-citizens arbitrarily, for whatever they chose, in either house, to call a breach of privilege. So here, without law or truth, or any sanction of justice, they had made assertions of the vilest malevo. lence, upon which were deliberately to be founded enactions of the most heinous terrorism, and there was not left to the