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printer, whose house was beset by a body of military, into which I entered by the request of an unfortu- . nate wife, whose husband was then lying in prison, under an arbitrary sentence. I found the house crouded with military, who threatened to demolish it, as other printses
puses had been demolished. The types and printing implements were destroyed, and the unfortunate woman thrown into an agony of terror. After interceding with the sheriff, he conducted me to the door. Mrs. Stockdale's sister having picked up a parcel of ball cartridges, deposited by the sheriff himself, or by his consent, on a former occasion, for the purposes of defence against a mob, became fearful that they might be made a pretext for a massacre, took advantage of the door being opened for me, to carry them away. They broke through her apron, and scattered upon the flaggs. The whole , sergeant's guard crying out, that they had found the croppie's pills, pursued me at full speed. I turned short to meet them, and, by that means, checked in some measure their fury. I was immediately surrounded by near twenty bayonets presented to my body, each soldier encouraging his comrade to run me through. I assumed an air of confidence and security beyond what I felt, and appealed to the sergeant, who, after some rough parley, led me back a prisoner to his officers within. He, the lady, the sergeant, and some others, underwent an examination, and at two in the morning, I was told by Alderman Carleton, that there was a charge against me amounting to high treason, but that if I would be upon ho
nor to present myself to him on the following day, he would enlarge me. I went the next morning, accompanied by Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Hill Wilson, and the honorable John Leeson, to demand some explanation; the alderman was lenjer, and there the matter finished, as it began, in buffoonery.
I learned afterwards, that the investment and occupation of Mr. Stockdale's house, was to prevent an intended publication in the “ Press,” against Lord Clare, from circulating. One side of the news paper, however, that which contained it, had already been printed, and the soldiers who made prize of the impression, circulated it rapidly at a great advanced price.
But that event from which my present persecution flows, in an uninterrupted series, was an attempt to make me a prisoner on the 12th of March, of the same year; a day famous for the arrest of many men distinguished, at that time, by their qualities, but more so by their sufferings since.
This was considered by my enemies a good occasion to repair the blunders of the former day; and I was, without the slightest pretext, included in the list of common proscription. It was probably hoped, that in the seizure of
my papers, something might be found to justify so vio: lent a measure ; but no such ground appearing, more scandalous means were resorted to ; and an officer of the Cayan militia, Mr. Colclough, was found so unworthy of his profession, as to be the instrument of that scandal, and to propagate that he had found 4 a
commission, naming me a French general. And a noble Lord (Glentworth) did not scruple to proclaim the same falsehood to the young gentlemen of the college corps
yeomanry on their parade.- Such was the fou comittencement of that abomination, of which you must have patience to listen to the detail.
Being from home when the house I inhabited was beset, my first care was to retire to a place of safety, from whence I wrote a letter to the Lord Lieutenant, Earl Cambden, which was put into his hand by General Crosbie; and another to the Attorney-General, Mr. Wolfe, which was delivered by the honorable John Leeson. In each of these letters I offered to surrender instantly, on the promise of receive ing a trial.
No answer being given, I remained in Dublin until the 16th of April, when the terror became so atrocious that humanity could no longer endure it. In every quarter of the metropolis, the shrieks and groans of the tortured were to be heard, and that, through all hours of the day and night. Men were taken at random without process or accusation, and tortured at the pleasure of the lowest dregs of the community. Bloody theatres were opened by these self-constituted inquisitors, and new and unheard of machines were invented for their diabolical purposes
Unhappily in every country history is but the record of black crimes ; but if ever this history comes to be fairly written, whatever has yet been held up to the execration of mankind, will fade before it. For it had not happended before, in any country or in
any age to inflict torture, and to offer bribe at the same moment. In this bloody reign, the coward and the traitor were sure of wealth and power; the brave and the loyal to suffer death or torture. The very mansion of the viceroy was peopled with salaried denouncers, kept in secret, and led out only for purposes of death. Some of them, struck with remorse, have since published their own crimes, and some have been hanged by their employers.-(See Appendir No. 1.)-Men were hung up until their tongues started from their mouths, and let down to receive fresh offers of bribe to betray their neighbour or discover themselves. If they neither knew nor would discover any thing, these intervals of relaxation were followed by new and more poignant inflictions. And when that courage, which is the noble attribute of my unhappy countrymen, spurned in the midst of agony at the temper and the bribe ; the nearest and the tenderest relatives were often brought to witness these horrors ; that out of their feelings might be extorted some denunciation, true or false, which the virtue of the sufferer had withheld.
To avoid such scenes, disgraceful to the name of man, and acted in the name of the king and British constitution, on the day abovementioned (the 16th of April, 1798) I embarked in a Collier ship for Whitehaven, and was on the following morning arrested on my landing, pursuant to general orders issued to the officers of that port. From hence I was sent to the county gaol of Carlisle, merely because I refused to tell my name ; and my servant, John Russell, of whom I shall have too much reason to speak hereafter, was detained a prişoner in the workhouse at Whitehaven.
Though I never did, nor never shall fear my enemies, I did not think it wise to brave them at this moment, seeing they had the power of putting me in gaol, from whence the law had no power to set me free; and I therefore passed by the name of Williams, being nearly my name by baptism. Many attempts were made upon my servant to disclose my name, but he refused; and the news papers of the place were mean enough to publish that he had betrayed me. Happily torture had not then, nor has yet been introduced into England: that may be referred for the future ; and those means which have succeeded to overturn the ancient constitution of Ireland, bribery, corruption, division, torture, religion, and military executions, may much sooner than many think, be employed to clear away the ruins of British liberty. And the Irish may, in their turn, be led over to England to repay the benefits they have received.
Whilst in Carlisle, I obtained leave from the magistrates and gaoler, to write to the Duke of Portland, then secretary of state, requesting earnestly to be sent to trial, if any one had been impudent enough to charge me with any crime. Or, if that justice was not granted, that I might rather remain where I was, than to be again forced amidst the horrors which raged in my own country. But neither the one nor the other of these requests were listened to,