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iniquities had brought them within reach of power. But Grattan was of another order he was sincere, unselfish, and enthusiastic. The delight in his own oratorical success, determined him to follow up the triumphs which he had gained by his eloquence, and follow it up, continually flashing his brilliant weapon in the eyes of the nation, even though he should follow it alone. In the words of the author, "some of the Whigs had offered to oppose the measure of independence, many had yielded, and the Government had nearly softened them all." Flood, the great leader of the party, felt himself reduced to a dilemma which has so often pained the conscience of Whiggism. He had no desire personally to go further at the moment; but he felt that the impetuosity of his young rival would carry off popularity. This was not to be parted with on any terms, and he therefore advocated the measure. "When it came forward he spoke for it, but in a subdued manner. lamented that the question had been brought on, and accused the proposer of precipitation, and said that he would address something valedictory to the volunteers."


Whiggism in England was equally willing to try the experiment of suspended agitation. Whether they had disturbed the country enough, has been for the last fifty years the question of Whiggism; and the question has always been answered by-have we, or have we not, brought ourselves within sight of power? Even the greatest name of men then living had been applied to, and the sanction of Edmund Burke was given to the stoppage of the agitation. But Burke was then in the trammels of Whiggism, and was forced to do its bidding. He wrote a public letter advising a politic tardiness. His language was, "Will no one speak to this madman-will no one stop this mad

man ?"

Grattan was assailed on all sides by the party whom he was now about to throw so utterly into his rear. They applied to Perry, on whose judgment they knew that he had peculiar reliance. Perry, with his old Parliamentary tact, applied to Lord Charlemont, for whose borough Grattan sat. This the old statesman probably thought decisive; for, as the author

observes, if Grattan was obliged to vacate his seat, he might not have found it easy to get another. Lord Charlemont's delicacy, however, retarded the application, and Grattan took a very peculiar, but very effective mode of escaping from it." Having discovered the intention of making it," for it appears that his lordship's delicacy had already yielded to the determination of his party; his nominee left them all behind, abandoned Dublin" to avoid importunities, and secluded himself in Celbridge Abbey." There, with none but his old relation Colonel Marlay, a gallant officer who had seen much of the world, he left his fellow patriots to perplex themselves with wondering what was become of him, and alarm that the game was taken wholly out of their hands. The young orator, whose mind was always of a nobler cast than that of the bustling place-hunters of his party, here strengthened his romance of statesmanship by the romance of nature. The house and grounds of Celbridge had once belonged to Miss Vanhornrigh, Swift's luckless admirer.

"Along the banks of that river," says he," amid the graves and bowers of Swift and Vanessa, I grew convinced that I was right. Arguments unanswerable came to my mind, and what I then prepared confirmed me in my determination to persevere. A great spirit rose among the people, and the speech which I afterwards delivered in the House communicated its fire, and impelled them on; the country caught the flame, and it rapidly extended. I was supported by eighteen counties, (out of thirtysix,) by the grand jury addresses, and the resolutions of the volunteers. I stood upon that ground, and I was determined never to yield. I brought on the question on the 19th April 1780. That was a great day for Ireland: that day gave her liberty."

All this is fine language. But what is it more? What but oratorical extravagance could say, or popular illusion believe, that Ireland was without liberty until the year 1780? That a country possessing the habeas corpus act, a parliament, freedom of person and property, and governed by the same laws which constituted freedom in England for a hundred years be fore, should have then for the first


time tasted of freedom, now stands before us in all the ridiculous nakedness of a party fiction. It was then not truer when clothed in the tissues of unquestionably a most showy eloquence. Grattan's speech on moving for "Irish independence," was one of his most powerful displays; a beautiful composition, full of great ideas and dazzling imagery, the whole polished with all the laborious dexterity of one of the most skilful masters of language that the world has ever seen. But it must be allowed now, that it was all a romance. He creates the colossal oppressors, among whom he goes forth sweeping his two-handed sword. He builds his castles in the clouds, before he launches the thunderbolts that is to scatter them to the winds. He fabricates shadows and scenes with the invention of a great dramatist, and having marshalled and moved the creatures of his fancy onward to an imaginary catastrophe, he sits down, forgetting that the whole is ideal, and that he is the spectator of an empty stage.

In Grattan's famous speech on this occasion, and the series of fine orations which he made before and after on the same topic, if Ireland had been the most helpless and hopeless victim of the most iron tyranny of earth, she could not be painted with a pencil more dipped in colours of despair. If one-half of her population were working in fetters, and the other half on the point of exile, he could not have raised a louder wail over the national misfortunes; if her freedom, wealth, learning, and religion had been buried in a common grave, and Grattan had sat alone to perform the national obsequies, and record the national fate, he could not have arrayed himself in a more lugubrious robe, or written a more indignant denouncement of her tyrants on her tomb.

We have lived to see all the folly of this declamation. It was in the midst of all this public ruin that commerce was growing tenfold, that the value of all property was increasing, and that corn was swelling like a surge over the soil. It was in a country where man dared not speak, act, or think, that 100,000 men in arms were actually at that moment menacing the Government and dictating to the Legislature; and it was in a Parliament pronounced to be the slaves of minis

terial corruption, and the echoes of the British Minister, that a party was hourly declaiming in the most violent terms against the Minister and England, intriguing for place with the most indefatigable effrontery, and proclaiming themselves the true representatives of Ireland, while the Government were but its usurpers.

Far be it from us to undervalue patriotism. But it must not be the patriotism of party-mean, trafficking, and treacherous. Far be it from us, too, to deny the dazzling powers of the great orator. Nothing can be more superb than his abstractions, nothing more sublime than those flashes, which, like meteors, not merely throw a sudden splendour on all below, but fascinate our eyes. Yet, what was their gain after all?-a change of phrase. "The King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland," was substituted for the words, King, Lords, and Commons of the British empire. For Grattan, in his wildest dream, never dreamed of separation. That frenzy in some, and fury in others, and conspiracy in all, was reserved for the time when Popery was to sit in the Parliament, and be enthroned in the councils of Protestant England!

We turn willingly from this most anxious of all existing topics, to the recollection of the better studies of Grattan's day. We were aware that he was romantically touched by the beauties of nature, and we were not unacquainted with his having written verses, the common play of men of fashionable life in his time. Fox, Fitzpatrick, Langrishe, Charlemont, and a crowd of their accomplished associates, were all verse writers. But we were not aware that Grattan was capable of verses so polished as those which we now give. In his retirement at the seat of his uncle, Colonel Marlay, his favourite place of meditation was the "Bower of Vanessa," a little retreat formed on a small island in the grounds of Celbridge, below a picturesque narrow bridge of Irish antiquity, which was overhung with ivy, and stretched its arches across the water to the spot. A mass of evergreens and laurel, mixed with yew, and box-trees, and solemn cypress, shaded the place, and rendered it almost impervious to the sun; roses, jessamine, and honeysuckle entwined the classic bower, and the green around was covered with flowers

of all hues. On the death of the Colonel, the place descended to his brother Dean Marlay, afterwards Bishop of Clonfert. Some alterations having taken place in the grounds, Grattan took umbrage at this invasion of their sanctity, and addressed this remonstrance to their proprietor.


"O thou! too prompt at fickle fashion's call,

For the sloped bank to change the useful wall;

To break those clumps that in meet order stand,

Planted by ancient skill's exactest hand,

To mock the true old beauties of my isle, With the forced fiction of yon Gothic pile. Oh! born like Swift, to head this sylvan


Like him to live a wit, and die a Dean,
Check here, at least, thy innovating haste,
Stop here, at least, thy fopperies of taste :
Know, more than beauty pleads for thy

And sacred spirits guard my ivied seat.
Here the stern satirist and the witty maid,
Talk'd pretty love, nor yet profaned the

Here, too, his nobler leisure to attend,
lerne's genius met her earliest friend,
Long ere she hoped to break her iron chain,
Or dreamt of freedom's law, or Portland's

Oh! spare those shades, where our first poet

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Allusion has been made to one member who supported Grattan in this struggle. He seems to have been almost the only sincere one-John Forbes, "unshaken, unsubdued, unterrified," a second Abdiel; and, like his leader, an enthusiast. "This individual was incorruptible; he was one of the most amiable of men, mild in his mind and manners, but firm of purpose. He was offered place, and re. fused it. He supported all the questions regarding Irish freedom with great ability. He proposed the Place Bill and the Pension Bill. By the latter he limited the pensions to L.80,000. He served the people faithfully, and his name should be

prized by every lover of liberty." All this may be true; yet we may conceive that the sequel of his career is not easily reconcilable with this panegyric. It must have perplexed the author not a little to be compelled to say, that-" Late in life, Mr Forbes accepted a situation in New Providence." (The author will not call it a place.) If we cannot see any actual crime in this acceptance, we cannot find any palliation of it, if it be one, in the prudent notice-that " he had refused a more lucrative one at home, offered by Lord Camden in 1796." This shows, only, that he became fonder of public pay when old than when middle-aged, or that he grew wiser as he grew older. The plea is, that abroad," he could not be asked to act against his principles." But we must leave it to the logic of Jesuitism to disentangle the difficulty. The mover of pension and place bills is not exactly the man who can with impunity accept place under the Government which he has tried to fetter, and whose patronage he has stigmatized with corruption. The line here drawn between doing the work of a corrupt Government abroad and at home, is too delicate for our vision. The withdrawal of a patriot from Parliament, to become a placeman any where, is the subduction of parliamenttary force, a negative desertion, a halfway house of character; and the man who hopes thus to screen the practical denial of his principles under cover of his personal escape from the spot where he avowed them, may enjoy a situation in New Providence, but will be apt to be remembered only as a hypocrite in England.

We come to a more important character, Yelverton, afterwards Chief Baron. He had begun life a peasant; had distinguished himself by his classical acquirements in the university; and, on his adoption of the bar, had rapidly risen into emolument and fame. On his entrance into Parliament he instantly assumed a foremost rank. “Yelverton was a first-rate speakker, nearly the most powerful one in his day. His style was short and strong; he never wandered from his subject, either to the right or the left. He was endowed with a masculine understanding, and saw the strong point of every thing. But his fire was so ardent, that it quickly consumed the fuel which fed it. He was deficient in his tones and

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manner, and he wanted taste. Yet, without these accomplishments, his speeches were superior, and even sublime orations." It is justly observed, as a matter of regret, that almost nothing is preserved of them which can give an adequate conception of their merits. Yet a few sentences may be given, as a specimen of that mixture of argumentative force and poetic beauty which distinguishes the nobler spirit of the often-calumniated Irish style. The subject is the unpropitious one of a Sugar Bill. Yelverton launched out into principle. "Destroy one part of the system of trade, and you destroy the whole-you destroy all trade. He then adverted to the abuse of the past popular acquisitions, " He could not help remarking the prostituted use which had been made of the term Free Trade.' When we first received it, an intemperate burst of applause broke forth, like the extravagance of lunacy, or the giddy joy of a child. If a constitutional question was started, if grievances were represented, we were answered-you have got a free trade. If a declaration of our rights was demanded-we should be satisfied with a free trade. If a modification of an oppressive law was attempted, we were stunned with the explanation -you have got a free trade. Your free trade was food and raiment to you; it was the burden of the ministerial song; it was the lullaby which hushed your necessities to rest, and the requiem which was sung over the perturbed spirit of your poverty! Every struggle for liberty was called sedition-a free trade was thrown out as a bubble, and meant to answer all the ends of those who never meant to grant you any. The people will see too late that they have been amused with a plaything; and, when they have lost it, will sit down like a child, and cry for all that their folly has lost them."

Yelverton had striking qualifications for public life. He was a great lawyer, as well as a man of elegant knowledge. He had alike the physical and mental requisites of the orator: "a great volume of voice, a rich flow of ideas, a rapid imagination, an austere pathos: his speeches were a regular, continued flow of legal reasoning. When he warmed upon a subject, his mind and his eye fixed: he did not illumine his speech by brilliant figures,


like Burgh, nor adorn it with pointed sentences, like Flood, who was a master of the art of oratory; but he came forth with a strength of reasoning, that struck the listener as the finest species of ratiocination. Grattan compared him, and well, to the rolling of the Atlantic wave, a column three thousand miles deep!"

A proof of his prudence is given. Flood had taken the favourite question of the day, Payning's Law, out of his hands. Yelverton, however indignant, suffered it so to remain. He wished to avoid Flood's merciless tongue. He was accustomed to say, "I shall yet ascend the bench; and it is best that I should not ascend it soiled by the abuse of any individual." He ascended it unsoiled. On the death of Hussey Burgh he was made Chief Baron.

His powers at the bar were of the first order. Lord Annesley (Chief Judge) who was certainly not partial to Yelverton, used to say, "that he

was the best advocate he ever heard in either England or Ireland." He carried away the court, the hearers, the jury, while listening to him." But, with all his prudence, he could sometimes be furious. On one occasion, Fitz-Gibbon (Lord Clare) had attacked Grattan, who was not then in the House; Yelverton started up, and replied to the charges, concluding with these fiery paragraphs," If my friend were present, the honourable gentleman would take some time to consider, before he hazarded an encounter with his genius, his eloquence, and his integrity. My honourable friend did not provoke the attack, equally ungenerous and untrue, and for which no justification can be found in any part of his splendid career. That learned gentleman has stated what Mr Grattan is-Ishall state what he is not. He is not styed in his prejudices; he does not trample on the resuscitation of his country, or live, like a caterpillar, on the decay of her prosperity; he does not stickle for the letter of the constitution with the affectation. of a prude, and abandon its principles with the effrontery of a prostitute."

The true cause which enabled Grattan to advance, against the Government and without his party, was the growing force of the volunteers. From a protecting militia they had become a disposing army; from sol

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what sudden change of course it might not turn to the earth, and crush and consume. But Ireland was fortun ately relieved from leaving her ashes as an example. The cessation of the American war brought back the day; the irregular light was wasted no more, in the return of the sunshine. I waned before the eye, and, after a few wild flashes, vanished below the horizon.

diers they had become politicians; and from the servants of the constitution had become the arbiters of Parliament. This state of things naturally excited especial alarm, at a period when America was still at war, and when the example of her revolt was the perpetual topic of all the mischievous and shortsighted tribe that longed to profit by public plunder in an Irish rebellion. Burke alludes to this hazard in his speech to the electors of Bristol. He described it as the establishment of "a military power in the dominions of the Crown, without the consent of the British legislature, contrary to the policy of the constitution, contrary to the declaration of right." "Two illegal armies are seen,' said he, "with banners displayed at the same time, and in the same country. No executive magistrate, no judicature in Ireland, will acknowledge the legality of the army which bears the King's commission, and no law, or appearance of law, authorizes the army commissioned by itself."

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Burke's capacious vision even then contemplated the consequences of put ting power into the hands of the multitude. He argued on the natural dangers of force and irresponsibility combined; the follies natural to great bodies of men guided by the frauds of faction; the boundless field which popular passion throws open for the demagogue; and the desperate wickedness into which that demagogue is ready to plunge the nation for the most selfish prize of power. This Burke saw, and this he deprecated, even in 1780; a clear evidence that he never was a Whig. If he had been, he might have seen, but he never would have deprecated. He bore the name of a Whig, because, in being thrown a stranger on the great plain of public life, he had first accidentally wandered into the ranks of the Whigs. But when the campaign became real, when the field-day flourishes were over, and he found them hoisting the revolutionary flag, he boldly marched over in front of the two armies, ranged himself under the standard of the monarchy, and stood forth, the noblest champion of law, loyalty, and religion.

The volunteers passed away. They were a brilliant phenomenon, but a formidable one: their light was meteoric, and it was impossible to tell by

The man who raised Grattan first before the people, ought not to be for gotten. We have already said that this most honest of all Whigs, perhaps the only honest Whig that ever exist. ed, came into Parliament originally as member for a borough, under the patronage of Lord Charlemont. The noble lord was the artist who fashioned the future idol and placed him on the altar, to see the sculptor eclipsed by the work of his hands. Lord Charlemont was the balloon, and Grattan the man in the parachute. When it had raised him high enough to catch the popular gaze, the balloon was cut off and let fly into the clouds or the sea; while the man in the parachute came down into the popular arms, to be applauded and wondered at, and carried in an ovation. But Charlemont was a memorable man. Without power of any kind, large property, or striking talents, he became suddenly the first nobleman of Ireland. Grattan's de scription of him is grateful, and yet unexaggerated.

"He was the most accomplished man of his day; the most polished and the most agreeable. In these respects he was superior to any person who had yet appeared in Ireland, or probably whom Ireland will ever again behold. His society was charming. He was fond of humour, and occasionally indulged in sarcasm, but never on his company. He was full ofs pirit, integrity, and public virtue. He possessed ambition, a great love of power, a great contempt for money, the consideration of which never en tered into his mind: he was incorruptible. His spirit and integrity would not permit him to yield to Go vernment; but when the people had triumphed, he strove to reconcile the parties, and would not abandon the Government on a question which endangered it."

It is clear that this man never was a Whig. We have the additional evidence." One predominant fea

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