Ebooks, Fiction, Non-Fiction 1000s of Free books and stories online to read now ~ Main Page

 

 

 

The Young Repealer, the Dublin Postmark

About eighteen years ago, when I was confined to two rooms by illness of long standing, I received a remarkable note by post one day. The envelope, bearing the Dublin postmark, was addressed in a good, bold, manly handwriting; but the few lines within showed traces of agitation. What I am going to relate is a true story,—altogether true, so far as I can trust my memory,—except the name of the Young Repealer. I might give his real name without danger of hurting any person's feelings but one; but, for the sake of that one, who will thus be out of the reach of my narrative, I speak of him under another name. Having to choose a name, I will take a thoroughly Irish one, and call my correspondent Patrick Monahan.

The few lines which showed agitation in the handwriting were calm in language, but very strange. Patrick Monahan told me that he was extremely unhappy, and that he had reason to believe that I, and I alone, could do him good. This, with the address,—to a certain number in a street in Dublin,—was all.

There was little time before the post went out; I was almost unable to write from illness; but, after a second glance at this note, I felt that I dared not delay my reply. I did not think that it was money that he wished to ask. I did not think that he was insane. I could not conceive why he should apply to me, nor why he did not explain what he wished from me; but I had a strong impression that it was safest to reply at once. I did so, in half a dozen lines, promising to write next day, after a further attempt to discover his meaning, and begging him to consider how completely in the dark I was as to him and his case. It was well that I wrote that day. Long after, when he was letting me into all the facts of his life, he told me that he had made my replying at once or not the turning-point of his fate. If the post had brought him nothing, he would have drowned himself in the Liffey.

My second letter was the only sort of letter that it could be,—an account of my own conjectures about him, and of my regret that I could see no probability of my being of use to him, except in as far as my experience of many troubles might enable me to speak suitably to him. I added some few words on the dangers attending any sort of trouble, when too keenly felt.

In answer to my first note came a few lines, telling me that the purpose of his application was mainly answered, and that my reply was of altogether greater consequence than I could have any idea of. He was less unhappy now, and believed he should never be so desperately wretched again. Wild as this might appear, I was still persuaded that he was not insane.

By the next post came a rather bulky packet. It contained, besides a letter from him, two or three old parchment documents, which showed that Patrick's forefathers had filled some chief municipal offices in the city in which the family had been settled for several generations. I had divined that Patrick was a gentleman; and he now showed me that he came of a good and honorable family, and had been well-educated. He was an orphan, and had not a relation in the world,—if I remember right. It was evident that he was poor; but he did not ask for money, nor seem to write on that account. He aspired to a literary life, and believed he should have done so, even if he had had the means of professional education. But he did not ask me for aid in trying his powers in literature. It was very perplexing; and the fact became presently clear that he expected me to tell him how I could be of use to him,—he being in no way able to afford me that information. I may as well give here the key to the mystery, which I had to wait for for some time. When poor Patrick was in a desperate condition,—very ill, in a lodging of which he could not pay the rent,—threatened with being turned into the street as soon as the thing could be done without danger to his life,—galled with a sense of disgrace, and full of impotent wrath against an oppressor,—and even suffering under deeper griefs than these,—at such a time, the worn man fell asleep, and dreamed that I looked kindly upon him. This happened three times; and on this ground, and this alone, he applied to me for comfort.

Before I learned this much, I had taken upon me to advise freely whatever occurred to me as best, finding Patrick entirely docile under my suggestions. Among other things, I advised him not to take offence, or assume any reserve, if a gentleman should call on him, with a desire to be of use to him. A gentleman did call, and was of eminent use to him. I had written to a benevolent friend of mine, a chief citizen of Dublin, begging him to obtain for me, through some trusty clerk or other messenger, some information as to what Patrick was like,—how old he was, what he was doing, and whether anything effectual could be done for him. Mr. H. went himself. He found Patrick sitting over a little fire in a little room, his young face thin and flushed, and his thin hands showing fever. He had had inflammation of the lungs, and, though he talked cheerfully, he was yet very far from well. Mr. H. was charmed with him. He found in him no needless reserves, and not so much sensitive pride as we had feared. Patrick had great hopes of sufficient employment, when once he could get out and go and see about it; and he pointed out two or three directions in which he believed he could obtain engagements. Two things, however, were plain: that there was some difficulty about getting out, and that his mind was set upon going to London at the first possible moment. He had not only the ordinary provincial ambition to achieve an entrance into the London literary world, but he had another object: he could serve his country best in London. Mr. H. easily divined the nature of the obstacle to his going out into the fresh air which he needed so much; and in a few days Patrick had a good suit of clothes. This was Mr. H.'s doing; and he also removed the danger of Patrick's being turned out of his lodging. The landlord had no wish to do such a thing; the young man was a gentleman,—regular and self-denying in his habits, and giving no trouble that he could help: but he had been very ill; and it was so desolate! Nobody came to see him; no letters arrived for him; no money was coming in, it was clear; and he could not go on living there,—starving, in fact.

Once able to go about again, Patrick cheered up; but it was plain that there was one point on which he would not be ruled. He would not stay in Dublin, under any inducement whatever; and he would go to London. I wrote very plainly to him about the risk he was running,—even describing the desolate condition of the unsuccessful literary adventurer in the dreary peopled wilderness, in which the friendless may lie down and die alone, as the starved animal lies down and perishes in the ravine in the desert. I showed him how impossible it was for me or anybody to help him, except with a little money, till he had shown what he could do; and I entreated him to wait two years,—one year,—six months, before rushing on such a fate. Here, and here alone, he was self-willed. At first he explained to me that he had one piece of employment to rely on. He was to be the London correspondent of the Repeal organ in Dublin,—the "Nation" newspaper. The pay was next to nothing. He could not live, ever so frugally, on four times the amount: but it was an engagement; and it would enable him to serve his country. So, as there was nothing else to be done, Mr. H. started him for London, with just money enough to carry him there. Once there, he was sure he should do very well.

I doubted this; and he was met, at the address he gave, (at an Irish greengrocer's, the only person he knew in London,) by an order for money enough to carry him over two or three weeks,—money given by two or three friends to whom I ventured to open the case. I have seldom read a happier letter than Patrick's first from London; but it was not even then, nor for some time after, that he told me the main reason of his horror at remaining in Dublin.

He had hoped to support himself as a tutor while studying and practising for the literary profession; and he had been engaged to teach the children of a rich citizen,—not only the boys, but the daughter. He, an engaging youth of three-and-twenty, with blue eyes and golden hair, an innocent and noble expression of countenance, an open heart, a glowing imagination, and an eloquent tongue, was set to teach Latin and literary composition to a pretty, warm-hearted, romantic girl of twenty; and when they were in love and engaged, the father considered himself the victim of the basest treachery that ever man suffered under. In vain the young people pleaded for leave to love and wait till Patrick could provide a home for his wife. They asked no favor but to be let alone. Patrick's family was as good as hers; and he had the education and manners of a gentleman, without any objectionable habits or tastes, but with every possible desire to win an honorable home for his beloved. I am not sure, but I think there was a moment when they thought of eloping some day, if nothing but the paternal displeasure intervened between them and happiness; but it was not yet time for this. There was much to be done first. What the father did first was to turn Patrick out of the house, under such circumstances of ignominy as he could devise. What he did next was the blow which broke the poor fellow down. Patrick had written a letter, in answer to the treatment he had received, in which he expressed his feelings as strongly as one might expect. This letter was made the ground of a complaint at the police-office; and Patrick was arrested, marched before the magistrate, and arraigned as the sender of a threatening letter to a citizen. In vain he protested that no idea of threatening anybody had been in his mind. The letter, as commented on by his employer, was pronounced sufficiently menacing to justify his being bound over to keep the peace towards this citizen and all his family. The intention was, no doubt, to disgrace him, and put him out of the question as a suitor; for no man could pretend to be really afraid of violence from a candid youth like Patrick, who loved the daughter too well to lift a finger against any one connected with her. The scheme succeeded; for he believed it had broken his heart. He supposed himself utterly disgraced in Dublin; and he could live there no longer. Hence his self-will about going to London.

In addition to this personal, there was a patriotic view. Very early in our correspondence, Patrick told me that he was a Repealer. He fancied himself a very moderate one, and likely on that account to do the more good. Those were the days of O'Connell's greatest power; or, if it was on the wane, no one yet recognized any change. Patrick knew one of the younger O'Connells, and had been flatteringly noticed by the great Dan himself, who had approved the idea of his going to London, hoped to see him there some day, and had prophesied that this young friend of his would do great things for the cause by his pen, and be conspicuous among the saviours of Ireland. Patrick's head was not quite turned by this; and he lamented, in his letters to me, the plans proposed and the language held by the common run of O'Connell's followers. Those were the days when the Catholic peasantry believed that "Repale" would make every man the owner of the land he lived on, or of that which he wished to live on; and the great Dan did not disabuse them. Those were the days when poor men believed that "Repale" would release every one from the debts he owed; and Dan did not contradict it. When Dan was dead, the consequence of his not contradicting it was that a literal-minded fellow here and there shot the creditor who asked for payment of the coat, or the pig, or the meal. For all this delusion Patrick was sorry. He was sorry to hear Protestant shopmen wishing for the day when Dublin streets would be knee-deep in Catholic blood, and to hear Catholic shopmen reciprocating the wish in regard to Protestant blood. He was anxious to make me understand that he had no such notions, and that he even thought O'Connell mistaken in appearing to countenance such mistakes. But still he, Patrick, was a Repealer; and he wished me to know precisely what he meant by that, and what he proposed to do in consequence. He thought it a sin and shame that Ireland should be trodden under the heel of the Saxon; he thought the domination of the English Parliament intolerable; he considered it just that the Irish should make their own laws, own their own soil, and manage their own affairs. He had no wish to bring in the French, or any other enemy of England; and he was fully disposed to be loyal to the Crown, if the Crown would let Ireland entirely alone. Even the constant persecution inflicted upon Ireland had not destroyed his loyalty to the Crown. Such were the views on which his letters to the "Nation" newspaper were to be grounded. In reply, I contented myself with proposing that he should make sure of his ground as he went along; for which purpose he should ascertain what proportion of the people of Ireland wished for a repeal of the Union; and what sort of people they were who desired Repeal on the one hand, or continued Union on the other. I hoped he would satisfy himself as to what Repeal could and could not effect; and that he would study the history of Irish Parliaments, to learn what the character and bearing of their legislation had been, and to estimate the chances of good government by that kind of legislature, in comparison with the Imperial Parliament.

If any foreign reader should suppose it impossible, that, in modern times, there can have been hopes entertained in Dublin of the streets being inundated with blood, such reader may be referred to the evidence afforded of Repeal sentiment five years later than the time of which I write. When the heroes of that rising of 1848—of whom John Mitchell is the sample best known in America—were tracked in their plans and devices, it appeared what their proposed methods of warfare were. Some of these, detailed in Repeal newspapers, and copied into American journals, were proposed to the patriotic women of Ireland, as their peculiar means of serving their country; and three especially. Red-hot iron hoops, my readers may remember, were to be cast down from balconies, so as to pin the arms of English soldiers marching in the street, and scorch their hearts. Vitriol was to be flung into their eyes. Boiling oil was to be poured upon them from windows. This is enough. Nobody believes that the thing would ever have been done; but the lively and repeated discussion of it shows how the feelings of the ignorant are perverted, and the passions of party-men are stimulated in Ireland, when unscrupulous leaders arise, proposing irrational projects. The consequences have been seen in Popish and Protestant fights in Ulster, and in the midnight drill of Phoenix Clubs in Munster, and in John Mitchell's passion for fat negroes in the Slave States of America. In Ireland such notions are regarded now as a delirious dream, except by a John Mitchell here and there. Smith O'Brien himself declares that there is nothing to be done while the people of Ireland are satisfied with the government they live under; and that, if it were otherwise, nothing can be done for a people which either elects jobbers to Parliament, or suspects every man of being a traitor who proceeds, when there, to do the business of his function. I suspected that Patrick would find out some of these things for himself in London; and I left him to make his own discoveries, when I had pointed out one or two paths of inquiry.

The process was a more rapid one than I had anticipated. He reported his first letter to the "Nation" with great satisfaction. He had begun his work in London. He went to the House of Commons, and came away sorely perplexed. After having heard and written so much of the wrongs of Ireland under the domination of the English Parliament, he found that Ireland actually and practically formed a part of that Parliament,—the legislature being, not English, but Imperial. He must have known this before; but he had never felt it. He now saw that Ireland was as well represented as England or Scotland; that political offices were held in fair proportion by Irishmen; and that the Irish members engrossed much more than a fair share of the national time in debate and projects of legislation. He saw at once that here was an end of all excuse for talk of oppression by Parliament, and of all complaints which assumed that Ireland was unrepresented. He was previously aware that Ireland was more lightly taxed than the rest of the empire. The question remained, whether a local legislature would or would not be a better thing than a share in the Imperial Parliament. This was a fair subject of argument; but he must now dismiss all notions grounded on the mistake of Ireland being unrepresented, and oppressed by the representatives of other people.

In the letter which disclosed these new views Patrick reported his visit to O'Connell. He had reminded his friend, the junior O'Connell, of Dan's invitation to him to go to see him in London; and he had looked forward to their levee with delight and expectation. Whether he had candidly expressed his thoughts about the actual representation of Ireland, I don't know; but it was plain that he had not much enjoyed the interview. O'Connell looked very well: the levee was crowded: O'Connell was surrounded by ardent patriots: the junior O'Connell had led Patrick up to his father with particular kindness. Still, there was no enthusiasm in the report; and the next letter showed the reason why. Patrick could not understand O'Connell at all. It was certain that Dan remembered him; and he could not have forgotten the encouragement he gave him to write on behalf of his country; yet now he was cold, even repellent in his manner; and he tried to pretend that he did not know who Patrick was. What could this mean?

Again I trusted to Patrick's finding out for himself what it meant. To be brief about a phase of human experience which has nothing new in it, Patrick presently saw that the difficulty of governing Ireland by a local legislature, and executive is this:—that no man is tolerated from the moment he can do more than talk. Irish members under O'Connell's eye were for the most part talkers only. Then and since, every Irishman who accepts the office so vehemently demanded is suspected of a good understanding with Englishmen, and soon becomes reviled as a traitor and place-hunter. Between the mere talkers and the proscribed office-holders, Ireland would get none of her business done, if the Imperial Government did not undertake affairs, and see that Ireland was taken care of by somebody or other. Patrick saw that this way of putting Government in abeyance was a mild copy of what happened when a Parliament sat in Dublin, perpetrating the most insolent tyranny and the vilest jobs ever witnessed under any representative system. He told me, very simply, that the people of Ireland should send to Parliament men whom they could trust, and should trust them to act when there: the people should either demand a share of office for their countrymen, or make up their minds to go without; they ought not first to demand office for Irishmen, and then call every Irishman a traitor and self-seeker who took it. In a very short time he told me that he found he had much to unlearn as well as learn: that many things of which he had been most sure now turned out to be mistakes, and many very plain matters to be exceedingly complicated; but that the one thing about which there could be no mistake was, that, in such a state of opinion, he was no proper guide for the readers of the "Nation," and he had accordingly sent in his resignation of his appointment, together with some notices to the editor of the different light in which Irish matters appear outside the atmosphere of Repeal meetings.

In thus cutting loose from his only means of pecuniary support, Patrick forfeited also his patriotic character. He was as thoroughly ruined in the eyes of Repealers as if he had denounced the "Saxon" one hour and the next crept into some warm place in the Custom-House on his knees. Here ended poor Patrick's short political life, after, I think, two letters to the "Nation," and here ended all hope of aid from his countrymen in London. His letter was very moving. He knew himself to be mortified by O'Connell's behavior to him; but he felt that he could not submit to be regarded with suspicion because he had come to see for himself how matters stood. He did not give up Repeal yet: he only wanted to study the case on better knowledge; and in order to have a perfectly clear conscience and judgment, he gave up his only pecuniary resource,—his love and a future home being in the distance, and always in view, all the time. Here, in spite of some lingering of old hopes, two scenes of his young life had closed. His Irish life was over, and his hope of political service.

I had before written about him to two or three literary friends in London; and now I felt bound to see what could be done in opening a way for him. He had obtained the insertion of a tale in a magazine, for which he had one guinea in payment. This raised his spirits, and gave him a hope of independence; for it was a parting of the clouds, and there was no saying how much sunlight might be let down. He was willing to apply himself to any drudgery; but his care to undertake nothing that he was not sure of doing well was very striking. He might have obtained good work as classical proof-corrector; but he feared, that, though his classical attainments were good, his training had not qualified him for the necessary accuracy. He had some employment of the sort, if I remember right, which defrayed a portion of his small expenses. His expenses were indeed small. He told me all his little gains and his weekly outlay; and I was really afraid that he did not allow himself sufficient food. Yet he knew that there was a little money in my hands, when he wanted it. His letters became now very gay in spirits. He keenly relished the society into which he was invited; and, on the other hand, everybody liked him. It was amusing to me, in my sick room, three hundred miles off, to hear of the impression he made, with his innocence, his fresh delight in his new life, his candor, his modesty, and his bright cleverness,—and then, again, to learn how diligently he had set about learning what I, his correspondent, was really like. In his dreams he had seen me very aged,—he thought upwards of eighty; and he had never doubted of the fact being so. In one letter he told me, that, finding a brother of mine was then in London, he was going that afternoon to a public meeting to see him, in order to have some idea of my aspect. A mutual friend told me afterwards that Patrick had come away quite bewildered and disappointed. He had expected to see in my brother a gray-haired ancient; whereas he found a man under forty. I really believe he was disturbed that his dreams had misled him. Yet I never observed any other sign of superstition in him.

At last the happy day came when he had a literary task worthy of him,—a sort of test of his capacity for reviewing. One of the friends to whom I had introduced him was then sub-editor of the "Athenaeum,"—a weekly periodical of higher reputation at that time than now. Patrick was commissioned to review a book of some weight and consequence,—Sir Robert Kane's "Industrial Resources of Ireland,"—and he did it so well that the conductors hoped to give him a good deal of employment. What they gave him would have led to more; and thus he really was justified in his exultation at having come to London. I remember, that, in the midst of his joy, he startled me by some light mention of his having spit blood, after catching cold,—a thing which had happened before in Ireland. In answer to my inquiries, my friends told me that he certainly looked very delicate, but made light of it. It happened, unfortunately, that he was obliged just then to change his lodging. He increased his cold by going about in bad weather to look for another. He found one, however, and settled himself, in hope of doing great things there.

He had not been there a week before he rang his bell one day, and was found bleeding from the lungs. His landlady called in a physician; and it is probable that this gentleman did not know or suspect the circumstances of his patient; for he not only ordered ice and various expensive things, but took fees, while the poor patient was lying forbidden to speak, and gnawed with anxiety as to where more money was to come from, and with eagerness to get to work. His friends soon found him out in his trouble; and I understood from him afterwards, and from others who knew more about it than he did, that they were extremely kind. I believe that one left a bank-note of a considerable amount at the door, in a blank envelope. All charges were defrayed, and he was bidden not to be anxious. Yet something must be done. What must it be?

As soon as he was allowed to raise his head from his pillow, he wrote me a note in pencil; and it afforded an opening for discussing his affairs with him. He had some impression of his life's being in danger; for it was now that he confided to me the whole story of his attachment, and the sufferings attending it: but he was still sanguine about doing great things in literature, and chafing at his unwilling idleness. I was strongly of opinion that the best way of dealing with him was to be perfectly open; and, after proposing that we should have no reserves, I told him what (proceeding on his own report of his health) I should in his place decide upon doing. His pride would cause him some pain in either of the two courses which were open to him,—but, I thought, more in one than the other. If he remained in his lodgings, he would break his heart about being a burden (as he would say) to his friends; and he would fret after work so as to give himself no chance of such recovery as might be hoped for: whereas, if he could once cheerfully agree to enter a hospital, he would have every chance of rallying, and all the sooner for being free from any painful sense of obligation. If the treatment should succeed, this passage in his life would be something to smile at hereafter, or to look back upon with sound satisfaction; and if not, he would have friends about him, just as he would in a lodging.

The effect was what I wished. My letter gave no offence, and did him no harm. He only begged for a few days more, before deciding that he might satisfy himself whether he was getting well or not: if not, he would cheerfully go wherever his friends advised, and believe that the plan was the best for him.

In those few days arrangements were made for his being received at the Sanatorium,—an institution in which sick persons who had either previously subscribed, or who were the nominees of subscribers, were received, and well tended for a guinea a week, under the comfortable circumstances of a private house. Each patient had a separate chamber; and the medical attendance, diet, and arrangements were of a far higher order than poor Patrick could have commanded in lodgings. Above all, the resident surgeon—now a distinguished physician, superintendent of a lunatic asylum—was a man to make a friend of,—a man of cultivated mind, tender heart, and cheerful and gentle manners. Patrick won his heart at once; and every note of Patrick's glowed with affection for Doctor H—. After a few weeks of alternating hope and fear, after a natural series of fluctuations of spirits, Patrick wrote me a remarkably quiet letter. He told me that both his doctors had given him a plain answer to his question whether he could recover. They had told him that it was impossible; but he could not learn from them how long they thought he would live. He saw now, however, that he must give up his efforts to work. He believed he could have worked a little: but perhaps he was no judge; and if he really was dying, he could not be wrong in obeying the directions of those who had the care of him. Once afterwards he told me that his physicians did not, he saw, expect him to live many months,—perhaps not even many weeks.

It was now clear to my mind what would please him best. I told him, that, if he liked to furnish me with the address of that house in Dublin in which his thoughts chiefly lived, I would take care that the young lady there should know that he died in honor, having fairly entered upon the literary career which had always been his aspiration, and surrounded by friends whose friendship was a distinction. His words in reply were few, calm, and fervent, intimating that he now had not a care left in the world: and Doctor H—wondered what had happened to make him so gay from the hour he received my letter.

His decline was a rapid one; and I soon learned, by very short notes, that he hardly left his bed. When it was supposed that he would never leave his room again, he surprised the whole household by a great feat. I should have related before what a favorite he was with all the other patients. He was the sunshine of the house while able to get to the drawing-room, and the pet of each invalid by the chamber-fire. On Christmas morning, he slipped out of bed, and managed to get his clothes on, while alone, and was met outside his own door, bent on giving a Christmas greeting to everybody in the house. He was indulged in this; for it was of little consequence now what he did. He appeared at each bedside, and at every sofa,—and not with any moving sentiment, but with genuine gayety. It was full in his thoughts that he had not many days to live, but he hoped the others had; and he entered into their prospect of renewed health and activity. At night they said that Patrick had brightened their Christmas Day.

He died very soon after,—sinking at last with perfect consciousness,—writing messages to me on his slate while his fingers would hold the pencil,—calm and cheerful without intermission. After his death, when the last offices were to be begun, my letters were taken warm from his breast. Every line that I had ever written to him was there; and the packet was sent to me by Doctor H—bound round with the green ribbon which he had himself tied before he quite lost the power. The kind friends who had watched over him during the months of his London life wrote to me not to trouble myself about his funeral. They buried him honorably, and two of his distinguished friends followed him to the grave.

Of course, I immediately performed my promise. I had always intended that not only the young lady, but her father, should know what we thought of Patrick, and what he might have been, if he had lived. I wrote to that potential personage, telling him of all the facts of the case, except the poverty, which might be omitted as essentially a slight and temporary circumstance. I reported of his life of industry and simple self-denial,—of his prospects, his friendships, his sweet and gay decline and departure, and his honorable funeral. No answer was needed; and I had supposed there would hardly be one. If there should be one, it was not likely to be very congenial to the mood of Patrick's friends: but I could hardly have conceived of anything so bad as it was. The man wrote that it was not wonderful that any young man should get on under the advantage of my patronage; and that it was to be hoped that this young man would have turned out more worthy of such patronage than he was when he ungratefully returned his obligations to his employer by engaging the affections of his daughter. The young man had caused great trouble and anxiety to one who, now he was dead, was willing to forgive him; but no circumstance could ever change the aspect of his conduct, in regard to his treacherous behavior to his benefactor; and so forth. There was no sign of any consciousness of imprudence on the father's own part; but strong indications of vindictive hatred, softened in the expression by being mixed up with odious flatteries to Patrick's literary friends. The only compensation for the disgust of this letter was the confirmation it afforded of Patrick's narrative, in which, it was clear, he had done no injustice to his oppressor.

I have not bestowed so much thought as this on the man and his letter, from the day I received it, till now; but it was necessary to speak of it at the close of the story. I lose sight of the painful incidents in thinking of Patrick himself. I only wish I had once seen his face, that I might know how near the truth is the image that I have formed of him.

There may have been, there no doubt have been, other such young Irishmen, whose lives have been misdirected for want of the knowledge which Patrick gained in good time by the accident of his coming to England. I fear that many such have lived a life of turbulence, or impotent discontent, under the delusion that their country was politically oppressed. The mistake may now be considered at an end. It is sufficiently understood in Ireland that her woes have been from social and not political causes, from the day of Catholic emancipation. But it is a painful thought what Patrick's short life might have been, if he had remained under the O'Connell influence; and what the lives of hundreds more have been,—rendered wild by delusion, and wretched by strife and lawlessness, for want of a gleam of that clear daylight which made a sound citizen of a passionate Young Repealer.