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with double confidence and affection upon a leader who represents in his own person the qualities upon which they rely. In his face he has been equally fortunate; it is extremely comely. The features are at once soft and manly; the florid glow of health and a sanguine temperament are diffused over the whole countenance, which is national in the outline, and beaming with national emotion. The expression is open and confiding, , and inviting confidence; there is not a trace of malignity or wile —if there were, the bright and sweet blue eyes, the most kindly and honest-looking that can be conceived, would repe! the imputation. These popular gifts of nature, O'Connell has Lot neglected to set off by his external carriage and deportment-or, perhaps, I should rather say, that the same hand which has moulded the exterior has supersaturated the invier man with a fund of restless propensity, which it is quite beyond his power, as it is certainly beside his inclination, to control. A large portion of this is necessarily expended upon his legal avocations; but the labours of the most laborious of professions cannot tame him into repose : after deducting the daily drains of the study and the courts, there remains an ample residuum of animal spirits and ardour for occupation, which go to form a distinct, and, I might say, a predominant character--the political chieftain. The existence of this overweening vivacity is conspicuous in O'Connell's manners and movements; and being a popuiar, and, more particularly, a national quality, greatly recommends him to the Irish people-mobilitate viget.'— Body and soul are in a state of permanent insurrection. See him in the streets, and you perceive at once that he is a man who has sworn that his country's wrongs shall be avenged. A Dublin jury (if judiciously selected) would find his very gait and gestures to be high treason by construction, 80 explicity do they enforce the national sentiment, of Ireland her own, or the world in å blaze.' As he marches to court, he shoulders his umbrella, as if it were a pike. He flings out one factious foot before the other, as if he had already burst his bonds, and was kicking the Protestant Ascendency before
him ; while, ever and anon, a democratic, broad-shouldered roll of the upper man, is manifestly an indignant effort to shuffle off the oppression of seven hundred years. This intensely national sensibility is the prevailing peculiarity in O'Connell's character; for it is not only when abroad, and in the popular gaze, that Irish affairs seem to press upon his heart—the same Erin-go-bragh feeling follows him into the most technical details of his forensic occupations, Give him the most dry and abstract position of law to support —the most remote that imagination can conceive, from the violation of the Irish Parliament-and ten to one but he will contrive to interweave a patriotic episode upon those examples of British domination. The people are never absent from his thoughts. He tosses up a bill of exceptions to a judge's charge in the name of Ireland, and pockets a special retainer, with the air of a man that dotes upon his country. There is, perhaps, some share of exaggeration in all this; but much less, I do believe, than is generally suspected, and I apprehend that he would scarcely pass for a patriot without it; for, in fact, he has been so successful, and looks so contented, and his elastic, unbroken spirits are so disposed to bound and brisk for very joy—in a word he has naturally so bad a face for a grievance, that his political sincerity might appear equivocal, were there not some clouds of patriotic grief or indignation to temper the sunshine that is for ever bursting through them.” The author of “The Tour of a German Prince"
Mr. O'Connell, in his usual strain of lively affectation—" Daniel O'Connell is, indeed no common man, though the man of the commonality: his exterior is attractive, and the expression of intelligent good-nature, united with determination and pru. dence, which marks his countenance, is extremely winning. It is impossible not to follow his powerful arguments with interest; and such is the martial dignity of his carriage, that he looks more like a general of Napoleon's than a Dublin advocate,"
One of the greatest sources of attack on Mr. O'Connell, is an alleged predilection for personal abuse. The urgency with which this charge has been brought forward, certainly shews a lack of others of greater moment; but, passing this by, it must be admitted that his personal sarcasm has on many occasions, not been stinted. The habit is characteristic of the warmth of temper and openness of disposition of a man, whose enmities, by all accounts, have been very few, and by no means bitter. Still the habit of making personal remarks, is one which, all must admit, it is well to restrain; while it is a very questionable matter whether Mr. O'Connell has been generally placed in a situation, where a man of warm blood could by any possibility, be restrained from using language characterised by a little heat and asperity. Let any one read the speeches at Orange meetings of the present day--let him then imagine what their virulence and ferocity must have been when the law drew a broader line of distinction between the Protestant and the Catholic. Any man who would have been able to bear so great a mass of obloquy with calmness, must have had cool blood, indeed, too cool, certainly, for a successful popular champion. Let us transfer ourselves, for a moment, to the land of Orangemen, and Peep-o'-day Boys, and Oak Boys, and Steel Boys, and White Boys, and Defenders, and Rockites, the land of the “ Black North," and the Wild West ;" let us picture to ourselves, a man rising in the midst of this turmoil of party strife and violence, a man shut out, by the narrow-minded bigotry of a party, from the proper rewards of his profession, while he is, at the same time, the object of their hate, from the honours he has acquired in spite of them; picture this man becoming the champion of the popular cause, against this virulent and oppressive faction: it would be as absurd to expect the amenities of complimentary language from such a man, as to have expected French politeness from the cuirassiers at Waterloo.
In this particular, the oratory of Mr. O'Connell has been compared to that of the late William Cobbett, whereas it does not require very great discriminatory powers to discover, that little or no resemblance exists between them. Cobbett could scarcely ever rise above mediocrity as an orator, whilst on the
other hand, in the speeches of Mr. O'Connell, we discern impassioned eloquence, argumentative reasoning, classical elegance, and a strict observance of all the nicer rules of oratory, to which the uneducated Cobbett was a total stranger.
Encouraging as were the legal prospects of Mr. O'Connell, he nevertheless saw himself under the thraldom of those laws which bigotry had enacted, and which an infuriated spirit of intolerance was always anxious to enforce, his political sensibilities and his catholic jealousies became aroused, and by degrees they rendered him the determined and devoted advocate of what he, doubtless, honestly deemed the rights of his country and his church. On the maintenance of that opinion, he was upright, consistent, and unflinching; he held Catholic emancipation to be the panacea, the political balm of Gilead, which was to remove the complicated disorders of Ireland, disorders which had been producing and acquiring strength, and rooting themselves in the very vitals of the land, during six centuries of domestic and political commotion.
It will not be considered irrelevant to take a retrospective glance of the origin of those religious differences, which went hand in hand with the aggrandizement in increasing the oppressions of Ireland. It is the existence of those oppressions which called forth the exercise of the stupenduous talents of Mr. O'Connell, which has for ever identified his name with the history of Ireland, and invested him with a power and an influence, superior to that of the crown itself.
When the reformation was forced in England by the sudden denunciation of an arbitrary monarch, it fell on not unwilling ears. The clergy had watched the controversy in its progress, and many of them were converted in their hearts, before they were ordered to change, whilst an enthusiastic hatred of popery was quickly communicated to the common people. In Ireland, however, it was otherwise. The dignified clergy had not much communication with the parish priests, who spoke a different language, and were almost of a separate country. The doctrines of the reformation therefore, had not been discussed amongst them, or much known, and when they were
suddenly called on at the command of an impervious monarch in another land, to abandon the cherished faith of their ancestors, to overturn all that had been venerated and adored by the people for centuries, and forget the doctrines in which from their earliest years they had been taught to build their hopes of salvation ; disgusted and indignant they spurned a sacrifice by which they must have been degraded indeed, before they could have readily made.
But although the English monarch could not control the consciences of the Irish people, he had the command of the Parliament and the appointment of the bishops. So degraded and dependent was the position of the Parliament, that notwithstanding the Catholic feeling of many of its members, we find it passing the act for the king's supremacy over the church; repealing it on the accession of Queen Mary, and again inacting it on the order of Elizabeth. The last step was accomplished by a packed House of Commons, which at that time was composed of any but the representatives of the people, but were in reality, the servile tools of a bigoted and intolerant government. By this venal House of Commons writs were refused to many of the counties, and Protestants summoned wherever they could be found. Thus did the whole Roman Catholic population of a large country find a handful of Protestants suddenly order them to resign their old worship, and assume a form they had been taught to believe it was heretical, blasphemous, and at variance with salvation. It was not wonderful, they rejected it with disdain, and it is honourable to the consistency of human nature, that the more bitterly, uniformity was enforced by iron-handed laws, the more firmly did the unfortunate multitude, ignorant and unenlightened, adhore to their old faith. In many places, the Roman Catholic religion continued to be taught in defiance of the laws, in others, pone was taught at all, the churches fell in ruins, and the people grew more savage. The enforcement of the new religion, joined to the forfeitures, constituted the cause of some of those rebellions which devastated Ireland, and exposed it :o all the horrors of a civil war.