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on the evidence of the abominable O'Brien, that if the ene. my was to invade this country, there are 111,000 men ready to run to his standard? But this is not the most appalling view of the question. For its importance and its novelty, this is the most unprecedented trial in the annals of this country. I recollect none bearing any affinity to it, save that of the unhappy wanderer Jackson : and premising that I mean not the smallest allusion to the conduct of public measures in this country, are you—I ask you seriously, are you prepared to embark your respectable characters in the same bottom with this detestable informer? Are you ready, on such evidence, to take away, one by one, the lives of a hundred thousand men, by prosecutions in a court of justice ? Are you prepared, when O'Brien shall come forward against 10,000 of your fellow-citizens, to assist him in digging the graves which he has destined to receive them one by one? No! could your hearts yield for a moment to the suggestion, your own reflections would vindicate the justice of God, and the insulted character of man; you would fly from the secrets of your chamber and take refuge in the multitude, from those "compunctious visitings," which meaner men could not look on without horror. Do not think I am speaking disrespectfully of you when I say, that while an O'Brien may be found, it may be the lot of the proudest among you, to be in the dock instead of the jury-box: How, then, on such an occasion, would any of you feel, if such evidence as has been heard this day were adduced against
The application affects you-you shrink from the imaginary situation-remeinber then the great mandate of your religion, and “ do unto all men as you would they should do. unto you.” Why do you condescend to listen to me with such attention? Why so anxious, if even from me any thing should fall tending to enlighten you on the present awful occasion ? It is because, bound by the sacred obligation of anľoath, your hearts will not allow you to forfeit it. Have you any doubt that it is the object of O'Brien to take down the prisoner for the reward that follows? Have you not seen with what more than instinctive keenness: this blood-hound has pursued his victim ? How he has kept him in view from place to place, until he hunts him through the avenues of the court to where the unhappy man stands now, hopeless of all succour, but that which your verdict shall afford. I have heard of assassination by sword, by pistol, and by dagger, but here is a wretch who would dip the Evangelists in blood if he thinks he has not sworn his victim to death, he is ready to swear without mercy and without end; but oh! do not, I conjure you, suffer him to take an oath; the arm of. the murderer should not pollute the purity of the gospel; if he will swear, let it be on the knife, the proper symbol of his profession! Gentlemen, I am reminded of the tissue of abomination with which this deadly calumniator, this O'Brien, has endeavoured to load so large à portion of your adult countrymen. He charges 100,000 Irishmen with the deliberate cruelty of depriving their fellow creatures of their eyes, tongues and hands! Do not believe the infamous slanderer. If I were told that there was in Ireland one man who could so debase human nature, I should hesitate to believe that even O'Brien were 'he.
I have heard the argument made use of, that, in cases of a very foul nature, witnesses cannot be found free from imputation ; this admitted in its full extent, it does not follow that such evidence is to be accredited without other support. In such cases, strong corroboration is necessary, would be the most helpless and unfortunate men in the world, if you were under the necessity of attending to the solitary testimony of such witnesses. In the present prosecution, two witnesses have been examined, for the respectable character of Lord Portarlington must not be polluted by a combination with O'Brien ; if his lordship had told exactly ihe same story with O'Brien, it could not, however, be considered as corroborating O'Brien, who might as easily utter a falsehood to Lord Portarlington as he did here ; but how much more strongly must you feel yourselves bound to reject his evidence, when appealing to his lordship, he is materially contradicted, and his perjury established. With respect to Clarke, he fixes no corroborative evidence whatever to the overt acts laid in the indictment. In endeavouring to slide in evidence of a conspiracy to murder Thompson, what might be the consequence if such a vile insinuation took possession of your minds ? I am not blinking the question, I come boldly up to it there is not the most remote evidence to connect the fate of Thompson with the present case, and nothing could show the miserable paucity of his evidence more than seeking to support it on what did not at all relate to the charge. Five witnesses, as if by the interference of Providence, have descredited O'Brien to as
What did the simple and honest evidence of John Clarke, of Blue-bells, amount to against O'Brien? It attached the double crime of artifice and perjury, and added robbery to the personification. See how in Dublin there are at this moment thousands and ten thousands of your fellow-citizens, anxiously waiting to know if you will convict the prisoner on the evidence of a wilful and corrupt perjurer whether they are, each in his turn, to feel the fatal effects of his condemnation, or whether they are to find protection in the laws from the machinations of the informer. [Mr. Curran having been reminded to observe on the recipe for coining:] No! continued he, let him keep his coining for himself; it will not pass in common with other species it suits him well, and is the proper emblem of his conscience, copper-washed. Would you let such a fellow as this into your house as a servant, under the impression which his evidence must make on your minds ?
If you would not take his services in exchange for wages, would you take his perjury in exchange for the life of a fellow creature? How will you feel, if the assignats of such.
evidence pass current for human blood ? How will you bear the serrated and iron fangs of remorse, gnawing at your hearts, if, in the moment of abandonment, you suffer the victim to be massacred even in your arms? But has his perjury stopt here?
What said the innocent countryman, Patrick Cavanagh? Pursuing the even tenor of his way in the paths of honest industry, he is in the act of fulfilling the decree of his maker; he is earning his bread by the sweat of his brow, when this villain, less pure than the arch fiend who brought the sentence of laborious action on mankind, enters the habitation of peace and humble industry, and, not content with dipping his tongue in perjury and blood, robs the poor man of two guineas! Can you wonder that he crept into the hole of the multitude, when the witness would have developed him? Do you wonder that he endeavoured to shun your
At this moment, even the bold and daring villany of O'Bri. en stood abashed; he saw the eye of Heaven in that of an innocent and injured man ; perhaps the feeling was consummated by a glance from the dock--his heart bore testimony to his guilt, and he fled for the same! Gracious God! have you been so soiled in the vile intercourse, that you will give him a degree of credit which you will deny to the candid and untainted evidence of so many honest men? But I have not done with him yet-while an atom of his vileness hangs together, I will separate it, lest you should chance to be tainted by it. Was there a human creature brought forward to say he is any other than a villain? Did his counsel venture to ask our witnesses why they discredited him ? Did he dare to ask on what they established their assertions ?--NoBy this time it is probable Mr. O'Brien is sick of investigation. You find him coiling himself in the scaly circles of his cautious perjury, making anticipated battle against any one who should appear against him but you see him sink before the proof.
Do you feel, gentlemen, that I have been wantonly aspersing this man's character? Is he not a perjurer, a swindler, and that he is not a murderer, will depend on you. He assumes the character of a king's officer, to rob the king's people of their money, and afterwards, when their property fails him, he seeks to rob them of their lives! What say you to his habitual fellowship with baseness and fraud ? He gives a recipe instructing to felony, and counterfeiting the king's coin, and when questioned about it, what is his answer? Why, truly, that it was “ only a light, easy way of getting money"_" only a little bit of a humbug." Good God! I ask you, has it ever come across you, to meet with such a constellation of infamy!
Beside the perjury, Clarke had nothing to say, scarcely ground to turn on-He swears he was not in the court yesterday; what then? Why, he has only perjured himself! Well, call little Skirmish up again—Why it was but a mistake ! a little puzzled or so, and not being a lawyer, he could not tell whether he was in court or not! Mr. Clarke
a much better evidence than my Lord Portarlington--his lordship, in the improvidence of truth, bore a single testimony, while Clarke, wisely providing against contingencies, swore at both sides of the gutter; but the lesser perjurer is almost forgotten in the greater. No fewer than five perjuries are established against the loyal Mr. O'Brien, who has been “united to every honest man." If indicted on any one of these, I must tell you, gentlemen, that he could not be sworn in a court of justice ; on the testimony of five witnesses, on his own testimony, he stands indicted before you; and, gentlemen, you must refuse him that credit, not to be squandered on such baseness and profligacy. The present cause takes in the entire character of your country, which may suffer in the eyes of all Europe by your verdict. This is the first prosecution of the kind brought forward to view. It is the great experiment of the informers of Ireland, to ascertain how far they can carry on a traffick in human blood! Tbis