« PreviousContinue »
must advise with his friends, for that, indeed, the nature of the communication with which I was charged, seemed to make that course necessary. To this observation I replied, that putting together the expressions he had then acknowledged, and the communication then made to him from Mr. Peel, the conclusion was easily drawn.
“ On parting, it was settled, that whatever communication Mr. O'Connell should have to make in consequence of what had passed, I might expect to receive at the house of Mr. Ottley
Mr. Lidwill having called there in my absence to inquire for me, stating that he came from Mr. O'Connell, and leaving word where he was to be met with, I went to his hotel, the moment I received notice of his visit, and on being introduced to him, began the conversation, by acquainting him, that I had called, having heard that he had some communication to make to me from Mr. O'Connell, in consequence of a communication I had made to the latter, Mr. Peel's desire, the particulars of which I began to state in the terms I had conveyed them to Mr. O'Connell, and had proceeded so far as to repeat the words in whieh Mr. Peel avowed, whatever expressions had been used by him in Parliament—when I was interrupted by Mr. Lidwill, desiring in the first instance to speak, as he came from Mr. O'Connell, and to inform me that having been made acquainted by Mr. O'Connell, who, he subsequently added, bad placed himself in his hands, with what had passed between him and myself that morning, he had called on me, not from a conviction that any communication from Mr. O'Connell to Mr. Peel was necessary, but lest my conversation with Mr. O'Connell might have led me to expect a hostile message, which, it was Mr. Lidwell's opinion, that Mr. O'Connell was not called upon by the circumstances to make.
“Mr. Lidwill followed up this statement with a good dealef his own reasoning on the matter, which I do not consider it necessary to relate, as it did not go in the least degree to remove the conclusion, that Mr. Peel was to expect no communication from Mr. O'Connell."
The foregoing statement was published by Sir Charles Saxton, in the Dublin Correspondent, and drew forth the following counter statement from Mr. O'Connell.
“To the Proprietor of the Freeman's Journal. Sir,— The very novel and extraordinary course pursued by Mr. Peel and Sir Charles Saxton having terminated in a newspaper publication, I beg of you to publish for me the enclosed letter, which I received from my friend Mr. Lidwill.
The dexterity of my adversary, in publishing on Saturday evening, has given him, what, I suppose, he estimates highly, one day's talking at me. This paltry trick he resorts to, and yet he declares that he feels anxious for an early statement of a transaction which occured two days before.
The conversation between Sir Charles Saxton and me, is very inaccurately stated by that gentleman in the Correspondent. I will only notice two particulars; first, his omitting to mention that on my expressing my own opinion on the fitness of my sending to Mr. Peel, I added, “any friend would disappoint my hopes and wishes who should advise me not to call on Mr. Peel," and secondly, his inserting the last reply, which he has attributed to himself, not one word of which did he utter in my presence. For the rest I leave the case to the Irish public. I have disavowed nothing, - I have retracted nothing--I have refused the gentleman nothing. I have only to regret that they have ultimately preferred a paper war.
“I am, Sir,
“DANIEL O'CONNELL." “Saturday, Sept. 2, 1815.
Kearne's Hotel, Kildare Street, “My dear O'Connell,
“ The statement relative to your affair with Mr. Peel, made by Sir Charles Saxton, in the Correspondent of this night, in which he says so little and suppresses so much of what passed between himself and me on that subject, renders it necessary that I should communicate to you, in regular order, the whole of what occurred between us on both the days ne waited on me here, leaving you at liberty to make what use you please of the information; when the public shall be informed that he spent twenty minutes with me on Thursday, and forty-two minutes on Friday, (the visit on which day, and the object of it, he studiously conceals,) in discussing the transactions which caused both interviews, and shall contrast it with the letter he reports of what must have passed in such a space of time; it will naturally draw a conclusion different from the object he had in view, in making that statement.
After hearing from you, Sir Charles Saxton's communication from Mr. Peel, and resisting the view you took on the subject. I went to Mr. Ottleys, where not finding Sir Charles, I mentioned to Mr. Ottley, I came for the purpose of letting Sir Charles know (had he been there) that I did not conceive any thing which had passed between you and hiin on that day, altered the relative position in which you and Mr. Peel heretofore stood, or rendered it in any way necessary, that you should make through me any hostile communication to Mr. Peele, but that if Sir Charles should wish to see me on the subject, I would wait at home until six o'clock, leaving him my address. He came to me nearly at that hour, and was proceeding to detail what passed between you and himself, until I interrupted him by mentioning what I said, as above, to Mr. Ottley, and giving it as my fixed opinion, that it was not you who should commence any hostile proceedings.
“ He then resumed his narrative of what passed between himself and you, and added that you thought differently from me on the subject, for though you said you would act under the control of your friends, yet that any friend, who would advise you not to send to Mr. Peel, would be, in your opinion, much mistaken and disappoint your wishes, or words to that effect. This was the only point in which your report and Sir Charles Saxton's of your interview in the morning did not exactly agree ; but this and some observation on his part, tending to alter my opinion compelled me to assign the reasons which determined me to decide for you as I had done. I then told him that the asperity of the language you had used respecting Mr. Peel, while under the impression of receiving ill-treatment from him, had beer so grossly offensive, that I still considered you to be the aggressor, that the English language did not admit of an expression more galling and debasing than to say of any man he would not dare to do in the presence of another, what he did in his absence; that it was a broad and unqualified charge of cowardice, which a denial or even an offer to prove unfounded, was not sufficient to repel, that though it may tend in some respect, to set up the individual so abused, yet it did not go to punish the insult, that this impression was strongly fixed on my mind, that I told you, if you persisted in wishing to send a hostile communication to Mr. Peel, I must decline any further interference on your part, for it would be an unjustifiable prodigality of your own life, and a wanton aggression on that of another.
“ After some little pause, Sir Charles Saxton asked me, if I knew what were the observations of Mr. Peel in Parliament of which you complained. I candidly acknowledged I had not seen any report, which could justify your charge on him, but that you mentioned to me, he had said, in quoting some passage of a speech of yours, that in quoting you, it was not an ordinary individual, but one who could lead the Catholics of Ireland to his own purposes, and broadly insinuating that their purposes were dishonest.
Sir Charles instantly replied that Mr. Peel never said any such thing, nor any thing which justified personality to him; that he got every report he could, and no one bore any such feature, and that he would avow every one he saw, or any thing that he had said. I agreed with him as far as those I had seen, and mentioned my regret at the observations which you had made respecting Mr. Peel. He then apologized for trespassing so long on my time, and as he was going, I again repeated, to avoid any misconception, as I then observed, my opinion that it was not from you any hostile proceedings should come, for the reasons I before stated. Thus ended the business of Thursday.
« On Eriday, I waited at home until one o'clock, thinking it probable that on consideration, he might judge it necessary to come to me again. Between that hour and half-past two, he called twice, and the last time he left the following note.
«Sir Charles Saxton did himself the honour of calling on Mr. Lidwill this morning, for the purpose of asking a few ininutes conversation with him on the subject of their conference of yesterday, but, unfortunately, finding him from home, is under the necessity of troubling him with this note, to request he may be informed as soon as Mr. Lidwill returns to his hotel, by a line addressed to him at Mr. Ottley's, No. 4, Elyplace, where Sir Charles Saxton will remain in expectation of Mr. Lidwill's answer. ““4, Ely-place, Sept. 1, 1815.
• George Lidwill, Esq. Kearn's hotel, Kildare-street.' “ In consequence of my acquainting him I was then at my hotel, he immediately came there. I must here observe, that at that moment I sent to inform him that I was at home, I also wrote a note to you, which I suppose you have, desiring that the horses might be in waiting, as I would appcint an immediate hour and the nearest field in the county of Kildare to the town of Colbridge for the meeting, which I supposed Sir Charles was coming to require. The following are the copies of my note and of your answer. " My Dear O'Connell,
“ Sir Charles Saxton called on me twice while I was absent from this. The last time he left a note to say when he would hear I was at home, he would again call on me. pect him every moment, and therefore, write this to you to have horses ready, as I will appoint the first field adjoining Colbridge in the county of Kildare, and an immediate hour for meeting, which I must naturally think he is now coming to require. Friday.