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My country was my idol-to it I sacrificed every selfish, every endearing sentiment, and for it I now offer up my life. No, my lord, I acted as an Irishman, determined on delivering my country from the yoke of a foreign and unrelenting tyranny, and from the more galling yoke of a domestic faction.
Connexion with France was indeed intended--but only so far as mutual interest would sanction or require; were they to assume any authority inconsistent with the purest independence, it would be the signal of their destruction. Were the French to come as invaders, or enemies uninvited by the wishes of the people, I should oppose them to the utmost of my strength. Yes, my countrymen, I should advise you to meet them on the beach, with a sword in one hand and a torch in the other. I would meet them with all the de.. structive fury of war, and I would animate my countrymen to immolate them in their boats, before they had contaminated the soil of my country. If they succeeded in landing, and if forced to retire before superior discipline, I would dispute every inch of ground, raze every house, burn every blade of grass the last spot in which the hope of freedom should de-. sert me, there would I hold, and the last intrenchment of li berty should be my grave.
I have been charged with that importance, in the efforts to emancipate my country, as to be considered the key-stone of the combination of Irishmen, or, as your lordship expressed it, "the life and blood of the conspiracy." You do me honor overmuch you have given to the subaltern all the credit of a superior; there are men engaged in this conspiracy, who are not only superior to me, but even to your own conceptions of yourself, my lord-men, before the splendor of whose genius and virtues I should bow with respectful deference, and who would think themsevles dishonored to be called your friends--who would not disgrace themselves by shaking your blood-stained hand-[Here he was interrupted.]
What, my lord, shall you tell me, on the passage to that scaffold, which that tyranny, of which you are only the intermediary executioner, has erected for my murder, that I am accountable for all the blood that has and will be shed in this struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor-shall you tell me this, and must I be so very a, glave as not to repel it?
I, who fear not to approach the Omnipotent Judge, to answer for the conduct of my whole life-am I to be appalled and falsified by a mere remnant of mortality here-by you, too, who, if it were possible to collect all the innocent blood that you have shed, in your unhallowed ministry, in one great reservoir, your lordship might swim in it?
My lords, you seem impatient for the sacrifice-the blood for which you thirst is not congealed by the artificial terrors which surround your victim: it circulates warmly and unruffled through the channels which God created for noble purposes, but which you are bent to destroy for purposes so grievous, that they cry to Heaven. Be yet patient! I have but a few words more to say. I am going to my cold and silent grave: my lamp of life is nearly extinguished: my race is run the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom. I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world; it is the charity of its silence. Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives, dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written.-I HAVE DONE!
LIX.-SIR CHRISTOPHER AND QUIZ.
From the Comedy of "Nolens Volens," of Everard Hall, Esq.
[Sir Christopher is an elderly gentleman, who has a son at college, against whom he is much enraged for having fallen prematurely in love. Quiz, under the assumed name of "Blackletter," personates a professor of languages, having come for the purpose of pacifying Sir Christopher, and thus to obtain some money for the son.]
Sir Ch. And so, friend Blackletter, you are just come from college.
Quiz. Yes, sir.
Sir Ch. Ah, Mr. Blackletter, I once loved the name of a college, until my son proved so worthless.
Quiz. In the name of all the literati, what do you mean? You fond of books, and not bless your stars in giving you such a son?
Sir Ch. Ah, sir, he was once a youth of promise.—But do you know him?
Quiz. What! Frederick Classic?-ay, that I do-heaven be praised. Sir Ch. changed.
I tell you, Mr. Blackletter, he is wonderfully
"Quiz. And a lucky change for him.-What, I suppose he was once a wild young fellow?
Sir Ch. No, sir, you don't understand me, or I don't you. I tell you, he neglects his studies, and is foolishly in love, for which I shall certainly cut him off with a shilling.
Quiz. You surprise me, sir. I must beg leave to undeceive you you are either out of your senses, or some wicked enemy of his has undoubtedly done him this injury. Why, sir, he is in love, I grant you, but it is only with his book. He hardly allows himself time to eat; and as for sleep-he scarcely takes two hours in the twenty-four.-(Aside.)—— This is a thumper; for the dog has not looked into a book these six months to my certain knowledge.
Sir Ch. I have received a letter from farmer Downright this very day, who tells me he has received a letter from him, containing proposals for his daughter.
Quiz. This is very strange--I left him at college as close to his books as-oh, oh-I believe I can solve this mystery, and much to your satisfaction.
Sir Ch. I should be happy indeed if you could.
Quiz. Oh, as plain as that two and three are five. "Tis thus-an envious fellow, a rival of your son's-a fellow who has not as much sense in his whole corporation as your son has in his little finger. Yes, I heard this very fellow order. ing a messenger to farmer Downright with a letter; and this is no doubt the very one. Why, sir, your son will certainly surpass the Admirable Crichton-Sir Isaac Newton will be a perfect automaton compared with him, and the sages of antiquity, if resuscitated, would hang their heads in despair.
Sir Ch. Is it possible that my son is now at college, making these great improvements?
Quiz. Ay, that he is, sir.
Sir Ch. (rubbing his hands) Oh! the dear fellow, the dear fellow!
Quiz. Sir, you may turn to any part of Homer, and repeat one line-he will take it up, and, by dint of memory, continue repeating to the end of the book.
Sir Ch. Well, well, well. I find I was doing him great injustice; however, I'll make him ample amends-oh, the dear fellow, the dear fellow, the dear fellow--(with great joy)--he will be immortalized, and so shall 1, for if I had not cherished the boy's genius in embryo, he would never have soared above mediocrity.
Quiz. True, sir.
Sir Ch. I cannot but think what superlative pleasure I shall have, when my son has got his education. No other man's in England shall be comparative with it--of that I am positive. Why, sir, the moderns are such dull, plodding, senseless barbarians, that a man of learning is as hard to be found as the unicorn.
Quiz. "Tis much to be regretted, sir; but such is the la mentable fact.
Sir Ch. Even the shepherds, in days of yore, spoke their mother tongue in Latin; and now hic, hæc, hoc, is as little understood as the language of the moon.
Quiz. Your son, sir, will be a phenomenon, depend upon it. Sir Ch. So much the better, so much the better. I expected soon to have been in the vocative, for you know you found me in the accusative case, and that's very near it-ha ha ha!
Quiz. You have reason to be merry, sir, I promise you. Sir Ch. I have indeed. Well, I shall leave off interjeetions and promote an amicable conjunction with the dear fellow. Oh! we shall never think of addressing each other in plain English-no, no, we will converse in the pure classical language of the ancients. You remember the Eclogues of Virgil, Mr. Blackletter?
Quiz. Oh, yes sir, perfectly; have 'em at my finger ends. (Aside)-Not a bit of a one did I ever hear of in my life. Sir Ch. How sweetly the first of them begins.
Quiz. Very sweetly, indeed, sir.
wish he would change the subject..
Sir. Ch. "Tytere, tu patula recubans," faith, 'tis more musical than fifty hand-organs.
Quiz-(Aside.) I had rather hear a jew's-harp.
Sir Ch. Talking of music, tho'-the Greek in the language, for that.
Quiz. Truly is it.
Sir Ch. Even the conjugations of the verbs far excel the finest sonata of Pleyel or Handel-for instance, 66 tupto, tupso, tetupha,”—can any thing be more musical?
Quiz. Nothing-" stoop low, stoop so, stoop too far." Sir Ch. Ha! ha! ha!" stoop too far!" that's a good one. Quiz.-(Aside) Faith, I have stoop'd too far. All's over now, by Jupiter.
Sir Ch. Ha! ha! ha! a plaguy good pun, Mr. Blackletter
Quiz. Tolerable. I am well out of that scrape, how. ever- -(aside.)
Sir Ch. Pray, sir, which of the classics is your favourite? Quiz. Why, sir, Mr. Frederick Classic, I think-he is so great a scholar.
Sir Ch. Po, po, you don't understand me-I mean which of the Latin classics do you admire most?
Quiz. Pox take him; what shall I say now? (Aside.)The Latin classics? oh,-really, sir, I admire them all so much, it is difficult to say.
Sir Ch. Virgil is my favourite. How very expressive is his description of the unconquerable passion of queen Dido, where he says, "haret lateri lethalis arundo." Is not that very expressive?
Quiz. Very expressive, indeed, sir. (Aside)-I wish we were forty miles asunder. I'shall never be able to hold out much longer at this rate.
Sir Ch. And Ovid is not without his charms!
Quiz. He is not, indeed, sir.
Sir Ch. And what a dear enchanting fellow Horace is ! Quiz. Wonderfully so!
Sir Ch. Pray, what think you of Xenophon?
Quiz. Who the devil is he, I wonder?-(Aside.) Xenophon !—oh, I think he unquestionably wrote good Latin, sir,
Sir Ch. Good Latin, man?-he wrote Greek-good Greek, you meant.