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and made drunk by their associates, and that the conviction was against their consciences. An application for mercy was transmitted by the Judge to the Lord-Lieutenant; and three several respites were granted. The man, however, was at last executed; and the libel with which Mr Curran's client was charged, was a very vehement and reproachful address to the Lord-Lieutenant, for having given his sanction to this execution. Mr Curran, after a very artful and animated discussion on general topics, makes this direct appeal to the jury he is addressing.
Let me suppose that you had seen him (Orr) removed from his industry, and confined in a gaol; that, through the slow and lingering progress of twelve tedious months, you had seen him confined in a dungeon, shut out from the common air and the use of his own limbs; that, day after day, you had marked the unhappy captive cheered by no sound but the cries of his family, or the clinking of chains; that you had seen him at last brought to his trial; that you had seen the vile and perjured informer deposing against his life; that you had seen the drunken, and worn out, and terrified jury, give in a verdict of death; that you had seen the same jury, when their returning sobriety had brought back their consciences, prostrate themselves before the humanity of the Bench, and pray that the mercy of the Crown might save their characters from the reproach of an involuntary crime, their consciences from the torture of eternal self-condemnation, and their souls from the indelible stain of innocent blood: Let me suppose that you had seen the respite given, and that contrite and honest recommendation transmitted to that seat where mercy was presumed to dwell; that new, and before unheard of, crimes are discovered against the informer; that the royal mercy seems to relent, and that a new respite is sent to the prisoner; that time is taken, as the learned counsel for the crown has expressed it, to see whether mercy could be extended or not! that, after that period of lingering deliberation passed, a third respite is transmitted; that the unhappy captive himself feels the cheering hope of being restored to a family that he had adored, to a character that he had never stained, and to a country that he had ever loved; that you had seen his wife and children upon their knees, giving those tears to gratitude, which their locked and frozen hearts could not give to anguish and despair, and imploring the blessings of eternal Providence upon his head, who had graciously spared the father, and restored him to his children; that you had seen the olive branch sent into his little ark, but no sign that the waters had subsided." Alas! nor wife nor children more shall he behold, nor friends nor sacred home!" No seraph mercy unbars his dungeon, and leads him forth to light and life; but the minister of death hurries him to the scene of suffering and of shame,-where, unmoved by the hostile array of artillery and armed men collected together, to secure, or to insult, or to disturb him, he dies with a solemn declaration of his innocence, and utters his last bath in a prayer for the liberty of his country.
Let 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 horror 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 have suffered 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 discord and falsehood, from whose vulgar string no groan of suffering could vibrate, no voice of integrity or honour could speak,-let me honestly tell you, I should have scorned to fling my hand across it;-I should have left it to a fitter minstrel. p. 283-285.
After some bold and contemptuous defence of the rude and uncourtly style of his client, he thus winds up his vehement address.
• If you think it a crime in this writer that his language has not been braided and festooned as elegantly as it might be; 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;-upright and honest jurors, find a civil and obliging verdict against the printer! And when you have done so, march through the ranks of your fellow-citizens to your own homes, —and bear their looks as they pass along. Retire to the bosom 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; and, when you have done so, tell them the story of Orr; tell them of his captivity, of his children, of his crime, of his hopes, of his disappointments, of his courage, and of his death; and, when you find your little hearers hanging from 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 justice to stigmatize the monsterwho had dared to publish the transaction! p. 285, 286.
The best reported speech in the book, we think, is that for Mr Hevey, in an action for an assault and false imprisonment brought against a person of the name of Sirr, who, under the title of Town Major of Dublin, appears to have been the chosen instrument of government, when any thing harsh or violent was to be carried into execution. The facts which are stated in this speech, are such as cannot be perused without the utmost horror, and the most lively indignation; and are calculated, indeed, to give such an impression of the outrageous abuses that were then familiar in that unhappy country, that we should hesitate about the propriety of giving any further notoriety to the accusation, if we had
not seen, from the abstract of the record subjoined to the speech, that it received the sanction of the Jury, who, in spite of the high place and terrible influence of the defendant, yet found a verdict of damages and costs for the plaintiff. It is impossible to state the case more clearly and concisely than in the passages which we should quote at any rate, as specimens of Mr Curran's eloquence.
About the year 1798, it seems, a man of the name of M'Guire was prosecuted for some offence against the state. Mr Hevey, the plaintiff, by accident was in court: he was then a citizen of wealth and credit, a brewer in the first line of that business. Unfortunately for him, he had heretofore employed the witness for the prosecution, and found him a man of infamous character. Unfortunately for himself, he mentioned this circumstance in court. The counsel for the prisoner insisted on his being sworn: he was so. The jury were convinced, that no credit was due to the witness for the crown, and the prisoner was accordingly acquitted. In a day or two after, Major Sirr met the plaintiff in the street, asked how he dared to interfere in his business? and swore by God he would teach him how to meddle with "his people. Gentlemen, said Mr Curran, there are two sorts of prophets; one that derives its knowledge from real or fancied inspiration, and who are sometimes mistaken. But, there is another class, who prophecy what they are determined to bring about themselves. Of this second, and by far the most authentic class, was the Major; for heaven, you see, has no monopoly of prediction. On the following evening, poor Hevey was dogged in the dark into some lonely alley: there he was seized, he knew not by whom, nor by what authority; and became in a moment, to his family and his friends, as if he had never been. He was carried away in equal ignorance of his crime, and of his destiny,-whether to be tortured, or hanged, or transported. His crime he soon learned; it was the treason which he had committed against the majesty of Major Sirr. He was immediately conducted to a new place of imprisonment in the castle-yard, called the Provost. Of this mansion of misery, of which you have since heard so much, Major Sandys was, and I believe yet is, the keeper, a gentleman of whom I know how dangerous it is to speak, and of whom every prudent man will think and talk with all due reverence. He seemed a twin-star of the defendant-equal in honour, in confidence-equal also (for who could be superior?) in probity and humanity. To this gentleman was my client consigned, and in his custody he remained about seven weeks, unthought of by the world, as if he had never existed. The oblivion of the buried is as profound as the oblivion of the dead. His family may have mourned his absence, or his probable death. But why should I mention so paltry a circumstance? The fears or the sorrows of the wretched give no interruption to the general progress of things. The sun rose, and the sun set, just as it did before the business of the government, the business of the castle,of the feast or the torture,--went on with their usual exactness and tranquillity.
tranquillity. At last, Mr Hevey was discovered among the sweepings of the prison, and was at last to be disposed of. He was at last honoured with the personal notice of Major Sandys." Hevey, (says the major), 1 have seen you ride, I think, a smart sort of a mare; you can't use her here; you had better give me an order for her." The plaintiff, you may well suppose, by this time, had a tolerable idea of his situation. He thought he might have much to fear from a refusal, and something to hope from compliance: at all events, he saw it would be a means of apprizing his family that he was not dead :-he instantly gave the order required. The major graciously accepted it, saying, your courtesy will not cost you much; you are to be sent down to-morrow to Kilkenny to be tried for your life; you will most certainly be hanged; and you can scarcely think that your journey to the other world will be performed on horseback. The humane and honourable major was equally a prophet with his compeer. The plaintiff, on the next day, took leave of his prison, as he supposed, for the last time, and was sent under a guard to Kilkenny. p. 342-345.
At Kilkenny, evidence was sought for against him him by proclamation; and on the testimony of an adjudged felon, he was condemed to death. The sentence, however, came to the eye of Lord Cornwallis;-with shame and indignation he dashed his pen across the record, and ordered Mr Hevey to be instantly set at liberty.
'Hevey was now a man again; he shook the dust off his feet against his prison gate: his heart beat the response to the anticipated embrace of his family and his friends, and he returned to Dublin. On his arrival here, one of the first persons he met with was his old friend Major Sandys. In the eye of poor Hevey, justice and humanity had shorn the Major of his beams. He no longer regarded him with respect or terror: he demanded his mare; observing, that though he might have travelled to heaven on foot, he thought it more comfortable to perform his earthly journies on horseback. Ungrateful villain! says the Major; is this the gratitude you show to his Majesty and to me, for our clemency to you? You shan't get possession of the beast, which you have forfeited by your treason; nor can I suppose, that a noble animal, that had been honoured with conveying the weight of duty and allegiance, could condescend to load her loyal loins with the vile burden of a convicted traitor.' p. 34. Mr Curran then tells another story of a still more atrocious robbery committed by this Major Sandys;-which, says he, I state at present because I see the Major in court, and I offer instantly to prove both the facts, either by his oath, or by the 'more credible modesty of his silence.'
Mr Curran then proceeds to the immediate cause of the action in question.
On the 8th of September last, Mr Hevey was sitting in a public coffee
coffee-house. Major Sirr was there. Mr Hevey was informed that the Major had at that moment said, that he (Hevey) ought to have been hanged. The plaintiff was fired at the charge; he fixed his eye on Sirr, and asked if he had dared to say so? Sirr declared that he had, and had said truly. Hevey answered, that he was a slanderous scoundrel. At the instant Sirr rushed upon him, and assisted by three or four of his satellites, who had attended him in disguise, secured him and sent him to the castle guard, desiring that a receipt might be given for the villain. He was sent thither. The officer of the guard chanced to be an Englishman, but lately arrived in Ireland; he said to the bailiffs, if this was in England, I should think this gentleman entitled to bail, but I don't know the laws of this country. However I think you had better loosen those irons on his wrists, or I think they may kill him.
'Here he was flung into a room of about thirteen feet by twelve ; it was called the hospital of the provost; it was occupied by six beds, in which were to lye fourteen or fifteen miserable wretches, some of them sinking under contagious diseases. Here he passed the first night without bed or food. The next morning his humane keeper, the Major, appeared. The plaintiff demanded, "why he was so imprisoned?" complained of hunger, and asked for the gaol allowance. Major Sandys replied, with a torrent of abuse, which he concluded by saying " Your crime is your insolence to Major Sirr; however, he disdains to trample upon you; you may appease him by proper and contrite submission; but unless you do so, you shall rot where you are. I tell you this, that if Government will not protect us, by God, we will not protect them. You will probably (for I know your insolent and ungrateful hardiness) attempt to get out by an habeas corpus; but in that you will find yourself mistaken, as such a rascal deserves. " Hevey was insolent enough to issue an habeas corpus, and a return was made upon it; "that Hevey was in custody under a warrant from General Craig, on a charge of treason.” This return was a gross falsehood fabricated by
Sirr. p. 350-352.
If it be the test of supreme genius to produce strong and permanent emotions, the passages which we have quoted must be in the very highest style of eloquence. There is not a subject of these kingdoms, we hope, that can read them, without feeling his blood boil, and his heart throb with indignation; and without feeling, that any government which could tolerate or connive at such proceedings, held out a bounty to rebellion, which it would almost be dastardly to reject. The eloquence of these passages is in the facts which they recite; and it is far more powerful than that which depends upon the mere fancy or art of the orator. There are passages, however, of this more ornate description in the speech before us, which deserve to be quoted. The following is among the most striking. Mr Curran is endeavouring to show, that the general publication of this transaction may